4 years' jail for man who molested young boys on public buses

This is the sixth time Nooraman Mohd Noor has been sentenced for outrage of modesty offences since 1997. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 53-year-old man who molested two boys, aged 15 and 20, on public buses, was sentenced to four years' jail on Friday (Nov 5).

Nooraman Mohd Noor pleaded guilty to two counts of outrage of modesty, and another two similar charges involving victims aged 12 and 18 were taken into consideration for sentencing.

This is the sixth time he has been sentenced for outrage of modesty offences since 1997.

In the last case before this, he was sentenced to two years and three months' jail in May 2019 for molesting a 31-year-old man on the MRT.

On Friday, the court heard that on Jan 21, at around 6.30pm, his first victim, a 15-year-old secondary school student, boarded a bus and sat in the last row.

Nooraman sat next to him and leaned towards the victim such that their arms were touching.

He then groped the victim's groin area and touched him over his pants, positioning his hand in such a way that it was covered by his long-sleeved shirt.

The victim stood up immediately and walked away. He later lodged a police report.

Nooraman struck again less than a month later.

On Feb 8, at around 5.15pm, he groped the groin area of a 20-year-old polytechnic student as they were boarding a bus at Woodlands interchange. Shocked, the victim confronted him.

He later called the police. The victim told the police that Nooraman was "wearing female attire, came and groped my private parts and just walked off".

The offence was captured on closed-circuit television cameras.

That same day, Nooraman molested an 18-year-old polytechnic student while alighting from a bus and touched the groin area of a 12-year-old boy at Ang Mo Kio MRT station while on an escalator.

Seeking four years in jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting said Nooraman should be sentenced to the maximum punishment as he was a recalcitrant offender.

"While his modus operandi of opportunistic offending in public transport has remained consistent, the number of victims has escalated. The age of his victims has also gotten younger. Two charges at hand involve 12 and 15-year-old victims," said the DPP.

In mitigation, Nooraman's lawyer, Ms Sofia Bakhash of Lexcompass LLC, said her client suffered from schizophrenia and his actions were precipitated by the fact that he had not abided by his treatment plan.

Ms Bakhash added that the degree of sexual exploitation was "minimal" as there was no skin-to-skin contact. While she agreed that there might be psychological impact on the victims, she urged the court to consider that her client's actions were fleeting.

The offence of outrage of modesty carries a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or caning, or any combination of such punishments.

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