Jobless man jailed six months for molesting woman in lift

SINGAPORE - A jobless man who molested a woman in a lift was jailed for six months on Wednesday.

Yew Eng Kiat, 33, who has a long history of psychiatric impairment, pleaded guilty to using criminal force to outrage the 24-year-old's modesty at a Housing Board block in Geylang Bahru on Oct 9 last year.

The court heard that he followed her from a bus stop and got into the lift just as the door was closing. While it was going up, he turned around and touched her breasts.

She pushed him away and used her handbag to cover herself but Yew came towards her again. After a struggle she got out on the 10th floor.

The woman told her boyfriend what happened and lodged a police report.

Yew's lawyer Ng Shi Yang, from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas) Fellowship, said in his mitigation plea that Yew was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder during his national service days in 2005.

He said his client has been receiving treatment and was genuinely remorseful for his actions, adding that the incident has caused him significant anxiety and deep embarrassment. He asked that no caning be imposed on Yew.

Community Court Judge Lim Keng Yeow said he considered it a grave matter, adding that Yew was persistent in attacking the victim. However he noted Yew's health issue and treated it as a mitigating factor.

Yew could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.