Restaurant worker gets jail and caning for molesting woman

Dinesh K. Rajalingam, 26, was sentenced to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane on Friday (Nov 18) for molest.
Dinesh K. Rajalingam, 26, was sentenced to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane on Friday (Nov 18) for molest. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A waiter abused his friend's trust by molesting her while she was sleeping naked in her bedroom, a court heard.

Dinesh K. Rajalingam, 26, was allowed by his 26-year-old friend to spend the night at her apartment after she threw a party there on Oct 12, 2015. The party ended at about 4am the next day.

Feeling slightly tipsy, the victim closed the door of her bedroom and went to sleep. As was her usual habit, she removed all her clothes before sleeping.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said at around 5am, she was abruptly woken up when she felt someone touching her hip.Shocked, she immediately jumped out of bed and turned on the lights.

On seeing Dinesh on her bed, she shouted at him, grabbed some clothes before running to the guest room and locked herself in.

DPP Kavita said the victim then used the Facebook messenger application on her laptop to send messages to a friend and asked for help.

Sometime after 6am, Dinesh knocked on the door and asked her for a cigarette. She remained inside and told him to leave. He left shortly after and sent messages to her saying he was sorry.

She ignored them and later told him to stop contacting her as she had made a police report.

District Judge Low Wee Ping sentenced him to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane on Friday (Nov 18) for molesting the victim.

He noted that Dinesh had committed a total of five outrage of modesty cases since he was young and had been placed on probation and in a juvenile home previously. At 19, he was sent to reformative training for robbery with hurt and aggravated molestation, among other offences.

He also had convictions for causing hurt with a dangerous weapon and committing an obscene act in public.

Pleading for leniency, Dinesh, who was unrepresented, said he regretted his mistake and was remorseful for his actions.

"If I hadn't had alcohol, that offence on that night might not have happened," he said.

DPP Kavita said there was nothing to suggest that Dinesh had an alleged alcohol problem. She told the court it was entirely fortuitous that the victim woke up or he would be facing a far more serious charge.

Among the aggravating factors she cited were the high degree of abuse and trust; the offence was committed in the sanctity of her own home; and high level of intrusion.

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