Worker gets 3 years, 12 strokes for restraining and molesting victims

SINGAPORE - A construction worker who molested two women was jailed for three years and ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane on Thursday.

Indian national Bose Durairaj, 27, pleaded guilty to squeezing a 19-year-old's breasts and rubbing her groin area a few times and wrongfully restrained her by hugging her from behind.

The incident occurred at a staircase of a block in Bedok Reservoir Road on Oct 4 at about 4.45am. A district court heard that the victim and her friend were sitting at the steps of the staircase when Durairaj approached them. When they stood up to give way to him, he hugged the victim and molested her as she struggled to break free from his hug. When she managed to free herself, she punched him and Durairaj fled.

Earlier on Aug 18, he had molested a 24-year-old woman by dragging her to a rubbish chute collection point at the same area, pinned her down and pulled up her T-shirt and groped her. He then tried to remove her pants.

Her shouts caught the attention of a resident who yelled at him and Durairaj fled.

He was arrested on Oct 8 after an intensive follow-up investigation.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai, who asked for a total sentence of at least 30 months and four to six strokes, said the acts took place in a residential area in the wee hours of the morning when fewer people were around so as to avoid detection. He said wrongful restraint was applied on the victims which clearly showed his intention to outrage their modesty.

Durairaj could have been jailed for between two and 10 years on each charge and caned.