SINGAPORE – His duty was to nurture young pupils. Instead, a former primary school teacher was jailed for 10 months yesterday because he corrupted them.
Chock Soon Seng, 33, led a “dark double life” – in the words of the prosecution – and sent lewd messages to two boys between 2008 and May last year in an attempt to get them to perform indecent acts, the court heard.
The bachelor was teaching for about six years at a Government primary school, which cannot be named as it would indirectly lead to the identification of his victims.
He met his first victim, a Secondary 2 boy, online in 2008. Chock, who identified himself as “Alex”, exchanged phone numbers with the 13-year-old. A few days later, Chock sent his first lewd message. The boy declined to meet despite repeated messages.
Chock followed up with a video call asking the boy to masturbate for his viewing. The boy hung up. In a final attempt on Oct 2, 2008, Chock sent over 40 SMSes to get the boy to perform the lewd act. Disturbed and disgusted, the boy informed his mother and lodged a police report.
Chock tried the same ruse on another boy seven months later. Introducing himself as a polytechnic student, Chock obtained the number of a Secondary 1 pupil, also 13 years old, studying at a school adjacent to the one where he taught.
Chock messaged him and suggested they watch pornography and masturbate together. The boy did not respond to the lewd invitations and informed his parents. They went to the police and their son’s school discipline master, who then called Chock.
The accused agreed to meet at a neighbourhood police post, where he admitted to sending lewd messages and apologised to the boy’s parents.
In his mitigation plea, Chock’s lawyer Anthony Lim said his client was “truly remorseful”. Chock did not send lewd messages to his own pupils nor did he persist after the boys ignored his calls, added Mr Lim, who urged the court to impose a fine.
The lawyer also tendered a psychiatric report which stated that Chock “does not suffer from sexual deviance or disorder”.
Calling for a jail term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Edmund Lam said Chock “would have clearly known that procuring such acts … by school children was clearly wrong and abhorrent”.
Mr Lam argued that Chock “systematically planned, profiled and targeted young persons” in order to commit lewd acts. Chock had sought details of the boys’ ages, schools, height and weight.
Chock has filed an appeal against his 10-month jail sentence and is out on a $20,000 bail. He could have been jailed up to two years and fined $5,000 for each of his two offences.