Jail for part-time GrabHitch driver who repeatedly molested passenger

SINGAPORE - A part-time GrabHitch driver repeatedly molested a passenger as she sat beside him and stroked her right thigh when she tried to pay her fare.

Indian national Kaliaperumal Panneer Selvam, 47, who is married with two sons, was jailed for three weeks on Friday (Oct 26) after pleading guilty to one count of molestation.

Three other outrage of modesty charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that the Singapore permanent resident picked up the 17-year-old student in Bukit Batok Street 33 at around 12.30pm on Jan 15. She told him to drive her to Selegie Road.

As she was about to enter his silver Hyundai Avante , Kaliaperumal told her she could sit in the front passenger seat as he was expecting two more passengers.

She complied and he drove to Bukit Batok West to pick up the pair.

While waiting, he initiated small talk with the teenager before touching her right hand.

She immediately pulled it away, and Kaliaperumal cancelled the two passengers' booking when they failed to turn up.

He molested her two more times while driving towards Selegie Road.

When they reached Bencoolen Street at around 12.45pm, the teenager took out some cash to pay him.

The court heard that he refused to accept the money and stroked her right thigh.

When the girl placed the cash at the centre compartment of the vehicle, Kaliaperumal took it and put it in her bag.

She alighted at Sunshine Plaza and told her 18-year-old boyfriend about her ordeal when they met later that day.

He then alerted the police at around 1.30pm.

For molesting the girl, Kaliaperumal could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.