Man jailed, caned for molesting drunk woman

A Norwegian national, who took advantage of a drunk woman outside a Clarke Quay nightclub, was yesterday jailed for a year for molesting her in a "very intrusive" act.

Gregersen Tommy, 49, will also receive three strokes of the cane for outraging the modesty of a 24-year-old woman on Aug 11 last year. She cannot be named because of a gag order. Tommy, a site and commissioning manager, was in Singapore for a work trip when the molestation took place.

The court heard the victim had been at Zouk, a nightclub in River Valley Road, with her friends. After consuming some alcohol, she felt the urge to vomit and left the club alone.

While she was seated at a bench near the club, Tommy, who had earlier visited various entertainment establishments to drink and dance, noticed her sitting alone and approached her.

After she threw up, he led her to another bench where they both sat. She then got a call from her cousin, who was concerned after hearing her incoherent response in an earlier phone call. Tommy answered the call and told the cousin where the victim was before hanging up.

He then started patting her back, pretending to comfort her. When she did not respond, he slipped his hand under her shirt and unfastened her bra before fondling her.

When she still did not react, he became more daring and touched her private parts for a few minutes.

At this point, the woman was "unresponsive and her head was facing the ground", the court heard.

A few minutes later, the victim's cousin arrived in the area, intending to take the woman home. When she saw the victim with Tommy, she quickly led her cousin away.

Tommy's lawyer K. Chandra Mohan Nair said his medical conditions - including sleep apnea, a severe medical condition which requires him to wear a sleeping mask - should be a "strong mitigating factor". Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said: "The accused does have multiple medical conditions, but I don't see how it can't be managed."

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan agreed, adding: "The outrage of modesty is a very intrusive one. It is more than just a fleeting touch."

Tommy could be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or any combination of the three.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'Man jailed, caned for molesting drunk woman'. Print Edition | Subscribe