Man who groped three women in an hour jailed 11 months

SINGAPORE - A woman who was groped by a man in the street called the police and told them: "He's molesting everyone here."

Pulanthiradas K. Manikam molested three women in the space of an hour during a trip to the Orchard Road area, then - while out on bail over those crimes - molested an 18-year-old man a week before he was due to return to court.

The 55-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to 11 months' jail on Tuesday (May 15) after pleading guilty to three charges of outrage of modesty, with one more taken into consideration.

His molestation spree started at around 10.40am on Jan 9 last year, the court heard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said jobless Pulanthiradas had walked into a clothes store at ION Orchard and approached a 24-year-old staff member who was sorting clothes on a rack. After mumbling something to her he grabbed her torso and pulled her towards him, refusing to let go as she struggled to break free.

Eventually, he let go of her and left the store. The woman then told her colleague about the incident, who in turned called the police.

Pulanthiradas made his way onto the streets, said DPP Lim, and about five minutes later he accosted a 47-year-old woman outside a shop at Shaw Centre - stretching out his arm and grabbing her crotch.

The woman shouted at him and tapped him on the back, but he ignored her and continued walking down the street.

She followed him and saw him reaching out towards another woman's chest outside a restaurant, said DPP Lim.

She then decided to call the police, telling them he was "molesting everyone here".

He was consequently arrested and scheduled to plead guilty on March 8 this year. But while out on bail, he re-offended, this time outraging the modesty of a man.

DPP Lim said that on March 1, Pulanthiradas approached the victim at a traffic light in Chin Swee Road and asked him to go out for drinks.

When he declined, the older man told him that he had a nice body, and made suggestive comments but the younger man ignored him.

Pulanthiradas followed him to the lift lobby of the victim's residence, where he put his hand down the younger man's shorts and underwear and grabbed his buttock.

He lodged a police report the next day. Pulanthiradas was traced and arrested again.

DPP Lim told the court that Pulanthiradas showed a "disregard for the law, and a disregard for the judicial system". "It is the right of every resident in this country to walk around without the fear of being violated," he added.

While Pulanthiradas's defence lawyer said his client had a history of mental health issues, DPP Lim countered that there was no medical evidence to prove it influenced his actions.

He also cited a report by the Institute of Medical Health declaring that the accused was "not of unsound mind" at the time of his offences.

The punishment for outrage of modesty is up to two years' jail, a fine, caning, or a combination of the three.