Ex-cabby jailed two weeks for kissing passenger

A. Ashok Kumar was found guilty of outraging a store manager's modesty after driving her and her drunken husband home.
A. Ashok Kumar was found guilty of outraging a store manager's modesty after driving her and her drunken husband home.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A taxi driver took a couple back to their home but went too far - by kissing the woman as she escorted her drunken husband into their flat.

A. Ashok Kumar, 54, left the 47-year-old American woman shocked and scared after following the couple to their front door, a court heard.

He was sentenced to two weeks' jail yesterday after he was found guilty of outraging the store manager's modesty outside her home at around 11.30pm on June 15, 2016. He has since lost his job.

The couple had attended an event at a bar in Circular Road earlier that evening.

Later, when the woman noticed that her husband had become very drunk, she decided to go home and flagged the taxi driven by Ashok Kumar.

The woman testified that after paying and thanking the cabby, she supported her intoxicated husband but he fell into some bushes at their condominium.

As she lifted him up, she suddenly realised the driver had followed her and was standing near them.

She refused to let the cabby help or touch her husband because she knew he could be unpredictable when he was intoxicated and she did not want the cabby to get hurt accidentally.

When the lift arrived, Ashok Kumar followed the couple into it and again the woman asked him not to touch her husband.

After taking her husband into the flat, she was shocked to find Ashok Kumar in front of the door.

As she went to close it, Ashok Kumar suddenly kissed her. Shocked, she turned her head the other way, but he kissed her again.

Ashok Kumar denied molesting the woman, claiming that the pair were drunk, and that it was the woman who brought her cheeks to his to thank him as he was leaving.

District Judge Luke Tan said Ashok Kumar took advantage of his status as a taxi driver. He found his action brazen, persistent and unrelenting.

Ashok Kumar will start his sentence on Jan 31.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-cabby jailed two weeks for kissing passenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe