Bangladeshi cleaner gets 9 months' jail, 3 strokes of the cane for molesting domestic worker in lift

SINGAPORE - A Bangladeshi cleaner was sentenced to nine months' jail and three strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Nov 8) after he molested a maid in the lift of an HDB block.

Muzammel Md, 33, followed the woman to ask for her mobile phone number after she had posted a letter for her employer and was walking home on the evening of May 26, 2016.

She did not want to give him the number and said she did not have a phone.

Muzammel followed her to the lift lobby of the Bukit Panjang building but she was too scared to get in and took the stairs instead.

When the woman, who was 35 at the time, reached the third-floor landing, she decided to take the lift, assuming Muzammel had gone.

But as Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy told the court: "Unbeknownst to her, the accused followed her up the staircase to the third floor as well, and when the Lift A door opened, he rushed inside just as the lift door was closing."

He grabbed her hand and held it against the lift wall and used the other hand to grab her breast over her T-shirt.

When the lift door opened, she shouted for help and Muzammel ran down the stairs.

The woman told her employer's son about what happened, and he ran down to help her look for the accused.

He found Muzammel near the rubbish bin compartment on the ground floor and detained him.

He pleaded to be allowed to go but the police were called in.

Muzammel told the court he was "very remorseful". The sentence was backdated to Oct 26.

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