SINGAPORE - An amputee who boarded a female Uber driver's car repeatedly molested her while she drove.
The 41-year-old woman, who had refused to go to a hotel with Png Kok Tai, struggled to defend herself but continued driving.
Png, 49, who has a prosthetic leg, was sentenced to five years, 10 months and three weeks' jail with four strokes of the cane on Monday (Nov 5) in what is believed to be the first case where a passenger outraged the modesty of a private hire car driver.
The jobless man pleaded guilty to molesting the Uber driver and an 18-year-old girl in separate incidents. He also admitted to one count each of drug consumption, theft, disorderly behaviour, assault and verbally abusing police officers.
The court heard that Png had one of his legs amputated after he suffered a blood clot due to his drug abuse. He was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Uber driver's car when she ferried him to Jurong on Dec 16 last year.
As they were travelling along the Pan-Island Expressway, Png asked the woman to go to a hotel with him and offered to pay her for doing so.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said that when the woman rejected his advances, Png repeatedly molested her. She alerted the police after he had alighted at his destination, the court heard.
On Monday, District Judge Marvin Bay said that Png's acts showed a "brazen and cynical exploitation" of a public transport worker.
He added: "Mr Png's acts were not merely grossly intrusive but created a dangerous state of affairs by the distraction and agitation that his unwanted advances could impose on the hapless female driver."
DPP Lim said that on July 5 this year, Png went on to molest an 18-year-old girl in Mei Ling Street near Commonwealth Avenue.
Apart from these two cases of molest, Png also assaulted Mr Muhammad Jamil Abdul, 41, in Bukit Merah View at around 9am on April 11. Court documents did not state the reasons behind the amputee's tiff with Mr Jamil, who is also jobless.
When two officers arrived at the scene to investigate, Png abused them verbally. He was arrested.
Mr Jamil was taken to the Singapore General Hospital where he was treated for injuries including a bruised face and a cut on his scalp.
The court heard that Png admitted to consuming methamphetamine on March 6 this year. He also stole $1,200 in cash from his father's maid 10 days later.
For each count of molestation, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.
And for assault, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.