Lift molester gets 10 years corrective training and nine strokes

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who followed a woman to her block and molested her inside a lift was sentenced to 10 years of corrective training and nine strokes of the cane on Tuesday.

Muhammad Harzan Mahat, 32, had admitted to wrongfully restraining the 26-year-old woman and repeatedly rubbing her private parts inside a Housing Board lift at Clementi Avenue 5 on Nov 9 last year.

The court heard that Harzan was waiting near Clementi MRT station when he spotted the victim alighting from the train at about 2.45pm.

He decided to follow her into the lift and as it was going up he turned to look at her, pulled down his shorts and started to masturbate.

He moved closer then rubbed her shorts.

She hit his hand and screamed. He then covered her mouth and turned her body to face him. She put up a struggle and fell in the process while he kept on molesting her.

When the lift door opened, she tried to crawl out and screamed for help. Harzan covered her mouth and tried to pull her back inside the lift.

A 65-year-old resident heard her screaming and saw her being pinned down by Harzan. He went over to the lift lobby. By then, Harzan had fled but he was arrested the next day.

Harzan had previous convictions for similar offences in 2001 and 2007 and was last given seven years' corrective training - a tough regime for repeat offenders with no remission for good behaviour.