SINGAPORE: A man was jailed for four months and two weeks on Wednesday (Jan 13) for molesting a sleeping woman on a bus.
Khin Chin Jie, a 22-year-old Malaysian, asked the judge not to name him but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
The court heard that the victim, a 29-year-old woman, boarded a double-decker bus from Orchard Road towards Clementi on Aug 28 last year.
She sat in the third-last row on the top deck and fell asleep. She woke up along Holland Village and when she saw that no one was beside her, she continued to nap.
Khin had boarded the bus sometime earlier and swap seats to sit next to the victim, who was still asleep. He looked at her and saw a few strands of hair on her chest area, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee.
He then reached out and touched her breast over her clothes. The victim felt the touch and woke up immediately. Khin appeared shocked and quickly withdrew his hand, the court heard.
The victim did not want to look Khin in the eye, instead she stared in Khin's direction and said nothing. Khin alighted soon after near Buona Vista MRT station.
The victim lodged an online police report that day saying she was molested on bus 106.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee asked for at least five months' jail, saying that the offence had occurred on a public transport network.
"Crime statistics show that there remains still a high number of cases involving outrage of modesty on the public transport system (239 reported instances in 2019)," he said.
The victim was vulnerable as she was asleep when the offence was committed, and there was a degree of premeditation as the accused chose to sit beside her even though the bus was not fully crowded and two seats opposite the victim were vacant.
In mitigation, the unrepresented Khin told the judge he hoped that his identity would not be disclosed to members of the public.
When prompted by the judge to respond, the prosecutor said: "All court mentions are on open record, where members of the public are able to be present in the court room, and this is in interest of accessibility to justice."
Khin asked again if he could confirm that his identity would not be revealed, but the judge told him that there was no legal basis to do so.
For outraging the victim's modesty, Khin could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties.