Image for representation only. (Mir Suhail/ News18 Creatives)
An Indian-origin man in Singapore was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 weeks in prison for molesting a woman on a bus, a media report said.
Kajayendran Krishnan, a 50-year-old permanent resident from Malaysia, pleaded guilty to one charge of using criminal force intending to outrage the victim’s modesty and another of insulting her modesty.
A third charge was taken into consideration for sentencing, the Channel News Asia reported.
The court heard that Kajayendran boarded shuttle bus service CW6 from Singapore’s Boon Lay estate heading towards Tuas Checkpoint and onwards to the Southern Malaysian state of Johore on the evening of May 7.
The victim, a 44-year-old Malaysian, was sitting on the left-most seat in the last row with an empty seat beside her, the report said.
Kajayendran, who was drunk, sat beside her and used his hand to caress her right arm with the intention to molest her, it said.
The victim quickly moved away and shifted her body towards the window, Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Yeo told the court.
She asked Kajayendran to stop touching her but he persisted, calling her “sarakku”, or “hot chick” in Tamil. He also uttered expletives in Tamil and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect).
The victim tried to leave, standing up in order to cross to the accused’s right. However, Kajayendran extended his legs, trapping the woman in the corner of the bus and grabbing her arm, caressing it, the report said.
The victim approached an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer to report the matter once the bus arrived at Tuas Checkpoint.
The prosecutor asked for a custodial sentence, leaving the exact term up to the judge.
He pointed out that the accused had previous convictions for disorderly behaviour and that the current incident occurred on public transport and with wrongful restraint.
Kajayendran, who was unrepresented, told the court at first that he was not sitting down on the bus, but standing up instead.
However, after the prosecutor said he had video footage, Kajayendran told District Judge Mathew Joseph that he intended to go ahead with his plea of guilt.
Telling the court about his problems of being unemployed, divorce and supporting elderly mother in Malaysia, Kajayendran said he was sorry and wished to apologise to the victim.
Asked by the judge if he had been drunk, he admitted that he had indeed drunk alcohol as he had “some personal problems”.
District Judge Mathew Joseph said: “Far from showing remorse, you are trying to wriggle your way out of responsibility of this by saying that you were standing up, then later when the prosecutor said there was video footage, you said it was accidental. To me it shows you are not remorseful.”
The Judge added that no female passenger should have to look and see if she was about to be molested or harassed on public transport.
“Let me suggest to you that the next time you are drunk, you don’t take the bus. You walk home. Lest you get into any mischief,” the judge added.
The sentence was backdated to September 27 this year, when the accused was remanded.