SINGAPORE — While walking her cat at the void deck, a 19-year-old polytechnic graduate was kissed thrice - unwillingly - by a man, who then also touched her buttock.
Her molester, Sahul Hamid Abdul Salam, was jailed three weeks after he pleaded guilty on Monday (30 December) to one count of molesting the woman.
The 57-year-old cleaner had approached the girl at about 8.43pm on 6 May this year after seeing her with her cat.
The woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, listened to Sahul as he spoke about himself and his family. Although she felt uncomfortable, the woman felt compelled to listen to Sahul as she had seen him around the neighbourhood, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Zhi Hao.
Some 15 seconds after they started conversing, the woman’s cat escaped. Sahul and the woman followed it to the staircase landing on the first floor. CCTV footage played in court showed the two continuing their conversation at the foot of the stairs while the cat ascended the stairs with the leash trailing behind it.
Although the victim felt uncomfortable, the court heard that she did not leave for fear of offending Sahul.
A few minutes later, Sahul grabbed the woman’s right hand and kissed her on the right cheek. The victim was shocked and did not know how to react. Sahul then placed a hand each on the back of the victim’s neck and her left cheek before kissing her cheek a second time.
He repeated the act to prevent the woman from escaping and tried unsuccessfully to kiss her lips - the victim had covered her mouth and turned away. Sahul forced a third kiss on the woman’s cheek. In her state of confusion, the woman did not push him away or scream for help.
Sahul then released the victim and told her not to tell anyone about the incident. As the woman headed up the staircase, Sahul grabbed her buttock.
The woman told her mother about the incident but the older woman did not dare to confront Sahul as her husband was not at home. After discussing the issue with her father later, the victim reported the incident to the police, noting that Sahul was “really drunk” and always sat at the same area at night.
DPP Tan called for a jail term for Sahul as he had persistently kissed the young woman. “His conduct grew more egregious and brazen over time,” said the DPP.
However, DPP Tan noted that the molest on the buttock was a fleeting touch with no intrusion on private parts and no skin-to-skin contact. As such, he sought a short jail term.
Sahul, who was unrepresented, said he had nothing to say in mitigation.
For molest, Sahul could have been jail up to two years and/or fined.