SINGAPORE - A woman on her way to work was pushed in her chest area by a man as they passed each other, and minutes later, she was molested by him again, a court heard on Tuesday (Aug 22).
The culprit, Edmund Lua Kian Yong, 30, unemployed, was jailed for nine months after he admitted to two charges of molesting the 42-year-old woman on Dec 10, 2016.
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 hospital lifts on the ground floor. At this time, Lua had just entered the lift.
When the victim saw that the lift door was open, she got in. Lua then exited, and extending his arm, pushed the victim in her chest area as he passed her.
The victim, who described the push as harder than the earlier one, shouted at Lua and scolded him. Lua did not respond but continued to walk away.
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 (Clas) Fellow, said 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. 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 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''.
Judge Tham 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 two previous convictions, could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or receive any combined punishment.