MOM officer followed 11-year-old home from Toa Payoh playground, molested her and ran away

MOM officer followed 11-year-old home from Toa Payoh playground, molested her and ran away






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Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Jan 10, 2023

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) housing officer snapped a picture of an 11-year-old girl and her younger brother before following the children into their flat, where he molested her.

Loh Jin fled the scene when the girl started crying, and he took a taxi home.

For the incident that took place in October 2020, the 57-year-old offender pleaded guilty to a molestation charge on Tuesday and was sentenced to a year and five months’ jail.

According to the My Careers Future website, MOM housing officers perform duties such as engaging with dormitory operators, foreign workers and employers on a regular basis.

They also inspect foreign worker residences.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry told The Straits Times that Loh is no longer working for it.

A spokesman for MOM added: “Pending the outcome of investigations, we had suspended him from duty in October 2020 and subsequently did not renew his contract when it expired in August 2021.”

The victim and her eight-year-old brother were playing at a playground in Toa Payoh on Oct 19, 2020, when Loh spotted them. He then used his mobile phone to snap their picture.

When the children walked home at around 5.30pm, Loh decided to follow them.

He tailed the pair into a lift and stepped out with them after the doors opened. The children’s parents were not home at the time.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Xin Jie said: “The accused then followed (the children) into the unit. The victim was surprised to see the accused entering the unit, and informed him that her parents had instructed her not to let strangers into their family home.

“The accused then showed the victim the picture that he had taken of her and her younger brother.”

Loh molested the girl soon after, and ran away when the shocked child burst into tears.

She phoned the police later that day and told officers about her ordeal.

On Tuesday, defence lawyer Josiah Zee told the court that his client was very remorseful.

The lawyer from Invictus Law added: “The degree of sexual exploitation is low, as he had only touched the victim once… The act lasted only for a fleeting moment.”

For molesting a child below 14 years old, an offender can be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned or receive any combination of such punishments.

Loh cannot be caned, as he is above 50 years old.

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