Former national footballer Imran Sahib convicted of molest

Former national footballer Mohammad Imran Sahib (left). (PHOTO: Facebook)
Former national footballer Mohammad Imran Sahib (left). (PHOTO: Facebook)

SINGAPORE — A former Singapore international footballer was found guilty on Thursday (22 October) of kissing and groping the friend of a Tinder date.

Mohammad Imran Sahib, 38, was convicted after trial on three counts: two counts of molest after he kissed the victim’s lips, then stroking her thigh, and lifting up her skirt to grab and squeeze her right inner thigh; and one count of using criminal force in putting the victim’s hand into his mouth to suck on her fingers.

Imran had played four times for the Singapore national team in 2004, and also featured for local professional clubs Sembawang Rangers, Woodlands Wellington, Home United and Tampines Rovers from 2001 to 2017.

Imran was a Grab driver at the time of the offence and is married with three children.

Clubbing date turned for the worse

The incident occurred on 4 March 2018, when Imran and the victim made plans to go clubbing. The victim brought her friend along; both of them were 21 years old then.

The trio visited several clubs that night, including Get Juiced, Fleek and Baliza. They were proceeding to Imran’s car at a carpark after 6am when the victim’s friend vomited.

According to the prosecution, the victim was asking her friend if she was okay when Imran grabbed her face and kissed her lips.

The victim immediately pushed Imran away, feeling shocked and uncomfortable. However she did not tell her friend what had happened as she did not want her friend to be hurt. She thought that her friend liked Imran romantically.

After the victim’s friend finished vomiting, the trio entered the car and Imran sent her back to her Ang Mo Kio home. After dropping the friend off, Imran was exiting the residential carpark when he touched the victim’s right thigh, then lifted her skirt and forcefully grabbed her right inner thigh.

The woman pushed his hand away. Undeterred, Imran grabbed her right hand and put her fingers into his mouth, sucking on them.

At this point, the victim used her mobile phone to send distressed messages to her friend via WhatsApp. Upon receiving the victim’s messages, the friend called her but the victim did not pick up the phone call, as she did not want Imran listening in on the conversation.

A short while later, Imran stopped his car near a bus stop in Ang Mo Kio to relieve himself. While he was urinating, the victim alighted and proceeded to walk to her friend’s house barefooted. She had left behind her high heels in Imran’s car in her haste.

When Imran chased after her and grabbed her hand, claiming that he would send her, the victim rejected his offer. She then walked for 25 minutes to her friend’s house where she waited at the void deck. When her friend did not respond to her texts, the victim called for a cab home.

The victim’s sister found her crying in the living room. At her sister’s encouragement, the victim lodged a police report on 20 March 2018.

Accused insisted he never molested victim

Imran’s defence, argued by lawyer A Revi Shanker, was that he never molested the victim.

He also claimed it was anatomically impossible to touch the victim in the manner that she described. He claimed to have found her behaviour repulsive as she had shouted at strangers earlier, and flirted with him by poking him repeatedly while they were dancing.

According to Imran, the victim had also consumed methamphetamine and was acting strangely.

He argued that the victim’s then-boyfriend, who is the cousin of the victim’s friend, had made the victim lodge a police report to get back at him.

However District Judge Kan Shuk Weng rejected these arguments. She noted that the victim and her friend were no longer close and that the friend would not go through the charade to collaborate with the victim in order to make false accusations.

Parties will return to court on 13 November for Imran to be sentenced.

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