Man jailed for molesting six girls at Hougang Swimming Complex

Indian national Job Mathew Panakkal, 37, molested six girls at Hougang Swimming Complex on Sept 12, 2018.
Indian national Job Mathew Panakkal, 37, molested six girls at Hougang Swimming Complex on Sept 12, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An infrastructure engineer molested six girls at Hougang Swimming Complex, swimming after them when they tried to move away and touching them as he went past.

Indian national Job Mathew Panakkal, 37, was sentenced on Wednesday (July 3) to 20 weeks' jail after pleading guilty to molesting three girls between 10 and 13 years old.

Four other charges involving the other victims were considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting said that Job went to the swimming complex in Hougang Ave 4 at around 7pm on Sept 12 last year and started swimming laps in the adult pool.

He later saw a group of children entering the pool and swam towards the girls in the first lane.

The court heard that Job decided to molest the girls and targeted a 13-year-old child at 7.33pm.

DPP Ting said: "The victim noticed the accused swimming in a fast manner on her right side. As the accused swam past her, he deliberately stretched out his hand and touched the victim's right thigh.

 

"She felt the accused's touch... and swam faster. However, she noticed that the accused continued following her until she swam between other swimmers in a group. The victim felt outraged by the accused's action."

Seven minutes later, Job molested a 10-year-old girl, leaving the child feeling "disgusted and outraged".

At around 7.45pm, he molested a 12-year-old girl who alerted her swimming coach.

A woman lodged an online police report at around 4pm the next day, informing officers of what Job had done.

He was arrested 11 days later following an investigation.

For each count of molestation, Job could have been jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.