Serial molester jailed for groping woman on Batam ferry

A serial molester groped a woman on a Batam-to-Singapore ferry three times in front of her husband and two children because he thought she had a "good figure", a court heard.

Tan Yew Song, 53, who has a string of molestation convictions dating back to 1983, was jailed for eight months yesterday after he pleaded guilty to three charges of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the 38-year-old, less than four months after he was released from jail.

The ferry had left Batam Centre Ferry Terminal and was in Singapore waters on the afternoon of Jan 3, when Tan first touched her buttock as he walked past her while she handed her children some food.

She thought it was accidental - even though he did it a second time when she stood up to get some water for her children - and so did not pursue the matter further.

But when he molested her a third time, as she got up to disembark at the Singapore Cruise Centre, she turned around and shouted: "What are you doing?"

Her husband confronted Tan as he tried to walk away.

He apologised, but the husband sought help from immigration officers, and Tan was detained.

He admitted he had touched her deliberately three times within 15 minutes as he thought she had a "good figure".

Tan, who is jobless, was jailed for four months on each count, with two of his sentences ordered to run consecutively.

The jail term was backdated to the date of his remand on Jan 5.

Tan has seven previous convictions for outrage of modesty, and two previous convictions for insulting the modesty of a woman.

In 2001, he was sentenced to seven years' preventive detention with seven strokes of the cane.

The maximum penalty for using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person is two years' jail, a fine, and caning.

People over the age of 50 cannot be caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2016, with the headline 'Serial molester jailed for groping woman on Batam ferry'. Print Edition | Subscribe