SINGAPORE - A Trans-Cab taxi driver who molested a 16-year-old student in his vehicle was given the minimum sentence of two years' jail on Thursday.
Ngiam Meng Keng, 60, pleaded guilty to causing wrongful restraint while molesting the teen when he was driving from Corporation Road to Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4 on May 29 this year.
A district court heard that the victim hailed and boarded Ngiam's taxi near Lakeside MRT station at 4.05pm that day to go to Lot 1 mall in Choa Chu Kang.
While she was seated at the back, he struck up a conversation with her by introducing himself as Michael. He asked which school she was studying in and whether she had a boyfriend.
Subsequently, he touched the victim's hand, telling her he liked her type, and continued to hold on to her hand, letting go only to change the gear occasionally.
He then touched her knees and rubbed her thighs with his hand. The girl was shocked and did not react, fearing that Ngiam would drive her somewhere other than her destination.
Along Kranji Expressway, he pulled her towards him and kissed her hand, slowed down the taxi, turned around and kissed her on the ear. The victim was shocked and quickly pulled herself away from him, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho.
He then told her to kiss his cheek. She complied out of fear.
Ngiam then asked if she wanted to sit in front, but she declined. He continued to touch her leg and asked her to give him a missed call on his mobile phone, which she did.
When she alighted at the Lot 1 taxi stand, she reported the incident to her form teacher and aunt before making a police report.
A second charge of molesting a woman was taken into consideration.
Ngiam has a similar conviction last December when he was fined a total of $3,000 for molesting a 19-year-old girl twice with a third charge considered.
He could have been jailed for up to 10 years for causing wrongful restraint to molest the victim. He escapes caning as he is above 50.