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Singapore

Cleaner molested teenager out walking her cat, gets jail

Cleaner molested teenager out walking her cat, gets jail

Photo illustration of a man committing molest. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A cleaner was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Monday (Dec 30) after he molested a 19-year-old woman who was out walking her cat.

Sahul Hamid Abdul Salam, 57, pleaded guilty to outraging the woman's modesty after he kissed her and touched her on the buttocks.

The court heard that the victim, whose identity is protected by gag order, was walking her cat at the void deck of her block at about 8pm on May 6.

About 45 minutes later, Sahul approached her and started chatting about his family and himself.

Although she did not know him, she had seen him around the neighbourhood and felt compelled to listen to him, despite feeling uncomfortable about the situation, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhi Hao.

Seconds after the man approached her, the victim's cat ran away. A video played in court showed the feline escaping with the leash trailing behind it.

Both the teenager and Sahul followed the cat and stopped at a staircase landing on the first floor where they continued talking.

The woman felt uncomfortable but did not leave as she did not want to offend Sahul, who was "really drunk", the court heard.

Sahul suddenly grabbed her hand and kissed her cheek, shocking the teen. He then placed his hand on the back of her neck and kissed her cheek again.

The woman felt confused and did not know what to do, but Sahul stopped her from escaping by placing his hands on her neck and cheek and trying to kiss her lips.

She covered her mouth and turned her head away, but the man forced a kiss on her left cheek.

Sahul released the teen and told her not to tell anyone what he had done. While the teen was going up the stairs, he reached out and grabbed her buttock.

The woman went back home and told her mother about the incident, and later reported it to the police. A closed-circuit television camera installed at the staircase landing captured the incident.

Sahul was identified and arrested a day later, and he pleaded guilty to his actions.

The prosecutor had asked for a short custodial sentence, noting that Sahul was "persistent and deliberate" in molesting the victim, with his conduct growing more brazen.

For using criminal force on the victim intending to outrage her modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both. He cannot be caned as he is above 50.

Source: CNA/ll

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