Elderly man gets jail for molesting girl on bus

A 77-year-old security guard who repeatedly molested a 14-year-old girl on a bus was jailed for five weeks yesterday.

Samlawi Haji Sirat pleaded guilty to touching the girl's upper thigh on an SBSTransit bus on Feb 6 last year.

The court heard that the Secondary 3 student boarded service No. 21 in Balestier Road at about 1.30pm that day. The bus was heading towards Pasir Ris interchange.

About 10 minutes later, Samlawi boarded the bus in Sims Avenue and sat beside the girl, even though there were several empty rows of seats behind and in front of her.

He started talking to her, asking her where she lived and what her cellphone number was.

He also asked her about her school and her schooling hours as she was in her school uniform.

As the bus was travelling along Tampines Avenue 7, he began touching her right upper thigh repeatedly.

He continued to do so until she got up to alight about three bus stops later.

She did not stop him nor get up to change seats as she was afraid.

Samlawi's lawyer, Mr G. Dinagaran, said his client, who divorced last year after 32 years of marriage, had done volunteer work both in the army and the police force.

He said the father of six and grandfather of more than 10 grandchildren had cooperated with investigations, was remorseful and regretted his actions.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for outrage of modesty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Elderly man gets jail for molesting girl on bus'. Print Edition | Subscribe