Foreman gets jail for molesting colleague after High Court appeal fails

SINGAPORE - A married foreman was alone in the office with his female colleague, who was waiting for him to assign her work, when he went up behind her and fondled her.

The man wrapped his arms around her, unhooked her bra, and told her he had the urge to have sex, even after she pushed him away and questioned his action.

When she told him to fasten her bra, he took the chance to molest her.

The 38-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the woman, was found guilty in June of one charge of molest and sentenced to nine months' jail.

On Friday (Sept 28), the High Court rejected his lawyers' appeal to overturn the ruling.

According to judgment documents, the pair were working together at a shipping company on Aug 12, 2015, when the incident occurred.

The man was in charge of assigning work to the woman, and the two were chatting in the office while waiting for orders from the company's logistics department.

When a call came for her to be deployed for work at another place, she stood up to leave.

This was when the man came up from behind, hugged her and unhooked her bra, according to court papers.

When she pushed him away, he told her he had the urge to have sex.

The woman asked him to fasten her bra, but he slipped his hand under her clothes and touched her.

He then pushed her to a room at the end of a corridor, where he repeated to her that he had the urge to have sex.

She pushed him away again, gathered her belongings and left.

She lodged a police report the next day, and told the man about it in a message later that night.

He asked her not to report him to the police and reminded her that he was "good to her", said court papers.

In his defence, the man denied molesting her and said he had hugged her to encourage her after she cried when confiding in him about her personal problems.

But District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan ruled that the man's evidence lacked credibility and should not be believed.

His testimony was illogical and inconsistent when reviewed, said the judge.

In contrast, the woman was an honest and unusually convincing witness who gave a compelling and consistent account of the sexual assault, the district judge said.

For molestation, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, fined and caned.