Foreman gets 9 months' jail for molesting colleague

SINGAPORE - A foreman gave a lift to a colleague who was late for work and later molested her in a site office at Tanjong Pagar Terminal Complex.

On Monday (March 5), the 37-year-old man was convicted of hugging the 31-year-old woman, unhooking her brassiere and grabbing her breast at the Keppel Road premises at about 8.10pm on Aug 12, 2015.

He was sentenced to nine months' jail.

The accused, who is not named to protect the victim's identity, is on $10,000 bail, pending his appeal against the conviction and sentence.

The court heard that on the day of the offence, the woman informed the accused that she would be late for work. She met him at PSA Vista and he drove her to the Tanjong Pagar Terminal Complex so she would not be penalised for being late.

When they arrived at the terminal complex, the crane that the woman was to be deployed to had been taken over by a colleague and there were no other vessels for deployment.

The woman went to the site office where she waited to be deployed. No one was in the office at the time.

About 10 minutes later, the accused went to the site office and chatted with the woman. He then received a call from the logistics department, informing him that a vessel had arrived. He told the woman that she would be deployed to the crane.

She testified that she was about to take her bag when the accused suddenly hugged her from behind. He then turned her around to face him and unhooked her bra.She pushed him away and asked why he did this to her. He replied that he had the urge to have sex.

When she asked him to hook her bra back on, he touched her breast. He told her to give him another chance to touch her breast and that he had the urge to have sex. He then released her.

She told the court that her brain went "blank" at the time. She felt confused and did not know what to do. She took her belongings and went to the lorry. The accused drove her to the crane where she was deployed.

There, she called her mother and told her what happened. She was crying and her mother could not figure out what she was trying to tell her.

In his defence, the man claimed he had hugged the woman to give her what he said was "an encouragement hug''.

The accused, who is married, denied molesting her. He said he had an active sex life with his wife at the time as they were in the midst of in-vitro fertilisation treatment and he was not attracted to the victim.

He also said the offence could not have happened because the site office was unlocked and anyone could have entered or looked into the office at the time.