Beef Bro co-founder, 26, sentenced to around 9 years & 10 months' jail, & caning for sexual assault

He will be appealing the sentence and conviction.

Gawain Pek | August 06, 2022, 12:32 PM

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26-year-old Norvan Tan En Jie has been sentenced to nine years, nine months, and four weeks of jail along with eight strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting his sister's friend back in 2016.

Tan is the co-founder of the local food and beverage business Beef Bro.

He was previously convicted of his charges, two counts of sexual assault by penetration and two counts of outrage of modesty, on Jul. 15 this year.

He had pled not guilty to these charges and claimed trial on Sep. 29, 2020.

Prosecution sought longer jail term

According to CNA, Deputy Public Prosecutors Ng Yiwen and Niranjan Ranjakunalan had sought a longer jail term of 10 years and five months, citing aggravating factors.

They noted that the victim, which cannot be named due to a gag order, was in a state of vulnerability when she was assaulted by Tan, CNA reported.

She was so drunk that she did not have the strength to talk, change out of her clothes, and she fell twice when Tan helped her out of the toilet, they added.

According to Today, the prosecutors also said that it was clear that Tan was "fully cognisant" of how intoxicated the victim was and had "deliberately exploited" her vulnerability to "satiate his perverse sexual desires".

They also noted how Tan had not used a condom, which had been in past cases ruled as an aggravating factor since it exposes the victim to risks of sexually transmitted diseases, Today reported.

Letters from family submitted to court by defence

In reply, defence counsel Amarjit Singh argued that these were not aggravating factors, and he described Tan as an "aspiring" and "kind-hearted" individual, CNA reported.

Today also reported that Singh submitted letters from Tan's family, including from his parents, aunt, sister and himself.

According to Today, the judge questioned Singh on whether he knew the letters were not mitigating factors the court can take into account.

Singh replied that they were submitted so the judge knows "where he had come from and what he had achieved in life",  Today wrote.

Defence to make appeal

In his sentencing, High Court judge Ang Cheng Hock considered the victim's vulnerability and inability to resist as aggravating factors, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

He also increased the bail amount from S$75,000 to S$95,000 after prosecutors argued that Tan was a "successful entrepreneur" based on his own accounts, Today wrote.

The prosecution also sought to order electronic tagging for Tan, but the request was denied by the judge after Singh submitted that Tan's passport had already been impounded.

Tan was released on bail after Singh told the court that an appeal will be submitted against the conviction and sentencing, ST reported.

Judge found defence's case unconvincing during Jul. 15 conviction

The sexual assault had taken place in the early hours of Dec. 26, 2016.

The victim was 19 at the time.

Tan and the victim were at Tan's house after a night out on Christmas the evening before.

Tan committed the acts of sexual assault multiple times throughout the morning while the victim was intoxicated.

The victim made a police report on Dec. 27, 2016 after realising what had happened.

In laying out his conviction on Jul. 15 earlier this year, the judge had found Tan's account of events a "concocted" afterthought, noting that his statement to police was lacking in details.

He also found the defence's case unconvincing, noting that while they had failed to provide expert testimonies despite arguing alternative ways which Tan's semen could have ended up on the victim's shirt.

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Top image via Norvan Tan/ASKfm