SINGAPORE - A construction worker was jailed for two years and three months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane on Thursday (July 13) for molesting a student near Bishan Park on Feb 23, last year.
Indian national Chidambaram Alaguraj, now 28, had gone with four friends to the void deck of an Ang Mo Kio block of flats to drink beer.
They went to Bishan Park to fish at a pond and to consume more alcohol at 7pm.
Chidambaram later left the group and did not return.
The student, 20, was walking home after parking her car near the park at around 2.20am the next day when he grabbed her from behind while she was going up a flight of stairs.
He turned her around, pushed her down and pinned her against the ground.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said: "The accused, intending to outrage the victim's modesty, grabbed hold of the victim's chin with one hand and forcibly kissed her on the lips and continued to attempt to kiss her.
"The victim struggled to push him but the accused was too strong."
Chidambaram then slipped his hand underneath her top and molested her.
He only stopped and fled towards the park after she shouted for help several times.
The student ran home and told her mother about her ordeal.
The older woman then alerted the police at around 2.35am.
The student went to a clinic at around 3.20pm that day and was found to be suffering from superficial wounds on her right shoulder and a mild bruise on her right buttock.
Stressing that Chidambaram had committed the offence in a residential area in the wee hours of the morning, DPP Wong urged District Judge Sarah Tan to jail him for at least two years and three months with three strokes of the cane.
His lawyer, Mr A. Revi Shanker, who represented him pro bono, asked the judge to jail his client for two years with three strokes of the cane.
He said that Chidambaram was a first-time offender and was remorseful after molesting the student.
Before handing out the sentence, Judge Tan said that members of the public should not have any reason to be afraid of being in public places at night or in the wee hours of the morning.
She added that a deterrent sentence has to be meted out to prevent others from committing similar offences.
For molesting the student, Chidambaram could have been jailed for between two and 10 years with caning.