A Bangladeshi construction worker was jailed six weeks for molesting a 15-year-old student on the MRT during rush hour.
Ali S M Zulfiker, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of outrage of modesty in the State Courts on Friday (17 November).
The court heard that on the evening of 6 October this year, the student told the staff at Clementi MRT station that she had been molested on the train.
She had boarded the train at Buona Vista Station in the direction of Dover Station and had stood facing the door.
After feeling a few pokes on her right inner thigh, the victim saw Ali standing front of her. She ignored him as she thought the contact was accidental.
When the train arrived at Dover Station, she felt the pokes on her right inner thigh again. This time, she paid attention to Ali because she suspected he was deliberately poking her.
She felt the pokes for a third time when the train was at Clementi Station. Ali then alighted at Clementi while she continued her journey towards Jurong East Station.
The victim called her father who told her to report the matter to MRT staff. She did so, and the police were called in to investigate the matter.
Ali, who was unrepresented, told the court in mitigation that he was “deeply remorseful” for what he had done. He had been working in Singapore as a construction worker for the past 15 years to support his elderly mother and wife.
When District Judge Kenneth Yap asked if Ali had any children, Ali told the court that he had a son who has since passed away.
In sentencing Ali, District Judge Yap said, “You are a parent – or at least were – and this is a 15-year-old girl. What you’ve done is intruded her privacy three times. It was extremely deliberate.”
He noted that the incident happened on a crowded MRT train at peak hour, and that Ali’s behaviour made the experience “extremely intolerable”.
Yap noted that it was Ali’s first offence in Singapore, “and will likely be your last”.
Ali’s sentence was backdated to 26 October when he was first remanded.
For using criminal force to outage modesty, he could have been jailed up to two years, with a fine, caning, or both.
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