A woman on her way to work was pushed in her chest area by a man as they passed each other, and five minutes later, she was molested by him again, a court heard yesterday.
The culprit, Edmund Lua Kian Yong, 30, who is unemployed, was sentenced to nine months in jail after he admitted to two charges of molesting the 42-year-old woman on Dec 10 last year.
The court heard that the victim was walking outside Yishun Community Hospital on her way to work at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) at 1.15pm that day when she noticed Lua walking towards her in the opposite direction.
As their paths crossed, Lua extended his arm and pushed her in her chest area.
The victim pushed his arm away. She then walked towards the KTPH lifts on the ground floor.
At this time, Lua had just entered a lift ahead of her. When the victim saw that the lift door was open, she went in. Lua then exited and, extending his arm, pushed the victim in her chest area as he passed her.
She reported the matter to the hospital security and the police.
In mitigation, Lua's lawyer, Ms Ariel Lim Huimin, a Criminal Legal Aid Scheme fellow, said that when her client was growing up, he was "socially awkward" and was also bullied in school.
She said he relied on his mother for emotional support and that they shared a close relationship.
When his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, he was devastated. His life hit rock bottom when she died two years later.
Ms Lim said her client, who had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, was unable to cope with stress and had a bad habit of taking out his frustration by nudging women in the chest area. But he did not do it for sexual pleasure, she added.
Community Court Judge Eddy Tham told Lua that almost everyone had gone through, at one point or another, some events in life, and Lua was no different. But he had sought to cope with things in a "very destructive and harmful way".
The judge noted that Lua had had seven separate incidents in the past and four in the present case. He said it was time Lua realised that this was not the way to cope with his loss.
Two other charges were taken into consideration.
Lua, who has had two similar convictions, could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.