SINGAPORE: An Indian national convicted of sexually assaulting a private nurse hired to care for his cancer-stricken wife was sentenced to seven months’ jail and three strokes of the cane on Friday (Oct 13).
Pillai Shyam Kumar Sadashivan, a 47-year-old managing director of a steel trading company in Dubai, brought his wife to Singapore in August last year for treatment.
She suffers a rare form of leukemia and her chance of survival is just three per cent, according to a medical report.
The victim, now 25, was hired in December 2016 to care for Pillai’s wife at the couple’s rented apartment at Normanton Park.
On Dec 14, the nurse arrived at the apartment to find her patient asleep in the bedroom. Pillai invited her to have a seat in the living room, where he chatted with her and “steered the conversation towards sexual matters,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said.
Pillai asked the young woman if she provided “extra service” like “girls in Dubai”. He also asked her to pull up her blouse to show him her chest, promising he would not touch her because he “just wanted to see", said the prosecutor.
After the nurse refused, Pillai grabbed her by the collar with such force that a button popped out and grabbed her breast. The woman struggled to get away from Pillai, who also stroked her between the legs, saying her thighs were “sexy and smooth”, the court heard.
After the assault, Pillai ordered the nurse to attend to his wife, making lewd remarks as she walked towards the bedroom.
The traumatised young woman later told her employer, MedXcess, about the assault and sought counselling. In a report, the counsellor said the nurse “could not bring herself to go back to work … yet needed to work to support herself and her daughter”.
Pillai pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault and insulting the modesty of a woman in August.
His lawyer, Mr Mathew Kurian, called for leniency in court on Friday, saying Pillai “deeply regrets” his actions and had “paid a heavy price” for his “lapse in judgement”.
His assets had been frozen and his business suffered because his Dubai visa has expired, Mr Kurian said, adding that Pillai’s two daughters, aged 10 and 12, had also missed a year of school.
Mr Kurian also said Pillai’s wife had since suffered a stroke, and was now paralysed and completely dependent on him.
For sexual assault, Pillai could face up to two years’ jail and caning. For insulting the modesty of a woman, he could face up to a year’s jail and a fine.