Jail, caning for carpool driver who molested passenger

He was a driver on carpooling app SwiftBack when a 21-year-old woman engaged his services to take her home. But when they reached her neighbourhood at around 5.40am on April 2 last year, Goh Wei Rong, now 24, molested her .

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan found him guilty of the offence on Oct 16 following a three-day trial.

Goh also pleaded guilty to three traffic offences and one count each of theft and housebreaking. Four other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Yesterday, he was given jail time of five years and eight weeks, and six strokes of the cane.

During the trial, the woman testified that Goh drove to her destination and she was about to get out of the front passenger seat when he grabbed her wrists and shoulder to restrain her.

According to the prosecution's submissions, she tried to free herself but he pulled her back.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Agnes Chan said Goh pinned the woman to the seat and molested her before he settled back into the driver's seat.

The victim managed to pull free, unlock the car door and run home.

The court heard that prior to this incident, Goh had committed a traffic offence and was disqualified from driving for a year until April 21 last year. Despite this, he drove on two occasions - once on March 11, and when he picked up his victim about 20 days later.

Separately, on April 14 last year, Goh entered the office of a bridal company in Ubi Road and stole $13,440 worth of items, including two cameras and five camera lenses.

More trouble was to follow.

In July last year, Goh was employed as an operations executive at an Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 foodcourt, and his duties included managing cash and serving customers.

He tendered his resignation the following month and was serving his notice when he broke into his workplace at around 3am on Sept 7.

A security alarm went off when he broke open a door into the management office.

However, he managed to unlock a safe and made off with cash totalling $40,542.30.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Jail, caning for carpool driver who molested passenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe