‘Paedophilic’ driver who preyed on young girls, autistic boy gets 12 years’ jail, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

‘Paedophilic’ driver who preyed on young girls, autistic boy gets 12 years’ jail

A man earlier described as a “paedophilic school bus driver” who targeted multiple young girls and an autistic boy was sentenced to 12 years’ jail on Wednesday.

In December 2022, Gary Alexander Tan, 68, pleaded guilty to six charges, including multiple counts of molestation. Nine other charges were considered during sentencing.

Before handing down the sentence, District Judge Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz noted that Tan had not been formally diagnosed with paedophilia.

She also said that that his offences were “especially odious” as they involved vulnerable victims.

The judge then sentenced him to 11 years and seven months’ jail with three strokes of the cane.

As Tan cannot be caned because he is over 50 years old, he was ordered to spend an additional five months behind bars in lieu of receiving the strokes. This means that he will be jailed for 12 years in total.

The father of three adult children started his crime spree some time between 1993 and 1995 when he molested a girl who was four to six years old at the time.

Details about the location of this offence cannot be disclosed due to a gag order.

The victim in that case alerted the authorities on Jan 25, 2023, after Tan’s conviction. Court documents did not disclose why she finally decided to do so.

Tan molested a second girl while spending the night at a friend’s home in 2006. While the woman slept, he molested her daughter, who was then between three and five years old.

Some time later, Tan was engaged by a kindergarten to transport children with special needs. He had been driving a seven-seater car to earn a living around 2009.

Although his contract with the kindergarten ended in 2012, some parents continued to engage him to ferry their children to and from school.

His passengers included a boy with autism, who was between four and six years old. Tan abused the boy between 2013 and 2014.

Tan also took photos of another young girl, whose age was not mentioned in court documents. He got to the girl by befriending her family’s helper, who was looking after her in 2016.

Tan took an upskirt photo of the girl in his vehicle after persuading the maid that he would look after her.

He also asked two other maids he befriended to send him explicit photos of young girls. One declined, but the other agreed after he told her such photos would arouse him.

On at least 22 occasions between May 5 and Nov 1, 2016, Tan instigated the maid to send him explicit photos of her employer’s pre-pubescent daughter.

The maid also sent Tan 51 photos of another pre-pubescent girl and three photos of her employer’s pre-pubescent son naked. The ages of the three children were not disclosed in court documents.

After becoming a school bus driver in 2017, Tan drove a nine-seater van.

His job was to ferry children who had been victims of alleged acts of abuse.

Tan knew the children were under care arrangements, and had signed an undertaking to safeguard information linked to them.

One of them was an eight-year-old girl who had allegedly been physically abused. As part of her care arrangements, she had to live with her aunt and maternal grandparents.

On Jan 12, 2017, after dropping off the other children, he molested the girl and took a video of himself committing the offence.

He molested her again on Jan 16, 2017 and shot a video of the acts.

Three days later, he showed the girl pictures of himself clad in underwear. Later that month, the girl told her aunt and grandparents, who alerted her mother.

The mother then contacted the police on Jan 26, 2017.

Officers arrested Tan later that day and seized his phone, which contained upskirt videos of many victims.