MOHAMED Noh Hafiz Osman is just 17 and has yet to complete his O levels, but he is now in the court records as a graduate in sexual crimes.
That is how a High Court judge described the serial molester and rapist who preyed on 11 young girls in the Bedok Reservoir and Tampines areas in the space of 1½ months this year. He did so in broad daylight and near their homes.
Mohamed Noh was sentenced to 20 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Saturday for various sexual offences committed on girls between the ages of eight and 12.
“Some of these 11 young pre-puberty girls were robbed of their property, two were robbed of their virginity, but all were denied their dignity by the despicable acts of this daring marauder,” said Justice Tay Yong Kwang.
Despite not having committed any previous crimes, his age and his unhappy childhood, “he is a clear and present danger to vulnerable young girls and should be separated from them by a tall and thick impenetrable wall,” he added.
Mohamed Noh pleaded guilty to 10 charges – four of aggravated outrage of modesty, two of aggravated rape, three of unnatural sex and one of robbery – while the rest were considered during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor G. Kannan, together with DPP Shirani Alfreds, said Mohamed Noh was nabbed near his Tampines Avenue 5 home on March 30.
After several reports of rape and molest had been lodged by various victims in the area, the police put together a photofit of the suspect. He was arrested after an officer at Bedok neighbourhood police station identified him.
Mohamed Noh’s modus operandi was to follow his victims into lifts and drag them out onto landings with their mouths covered before he threatened them with violence and either raped them or forced them to perform oral sex on him.
He did this with his first rape victim, a nine-year-old, on March 15, six days later with an 11-year-old girl, with another 11-year-old girl on March 24 and an eight-year-old girl on March 29.
Before these incidents, on Feb 23, he followed a 12-year-old girl in a bus near her home and stole her mobile phone worth S$350 (RM761).
Describing his conduct as totally reprehensible, DPP Kannan said the long-term psychological effects on the victims should be taken into account. He also argued that the court should see to it that socially abhorrent acts met with a stiff punishment.
The Straits Times visited Mohamed Noh’s home yesterday afternoon but no one was there.
According to neighbours, he has two older sisters and his mother runs a shop selling clothes in Geylang.
One neighbour living on the same floor said he was very quiet and seemed even timid. “I’m surprised to hear that he has done this.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network