While his cancer-stricken wife was asleep, a businessman molested a private nurse hired to look after her.
Yesterday, District Judge Mathew Joseph did not mince his words when he chided businessman Pillai Shyam Kumar Sadashivan, 47, calling his actions "abhorrent and repugnant".
He added: "The victim was a professional nurse looking after your sick wife... and (not to) provide non-nursing services contrary to what you expected. This is Singapore. We have different standards here."
Pillai, who runs a steel trading company in Dubai, was sentenced to seven months' jail and three strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to molesting the then 25-year-old Singaporean nurse and insulting her modesty.
A second count of insulting the woman's modesty was taken into consideration during sentencing.
The Indian national had initially claimed trial to his offences, but decided to plead guilty to them on the first day of the hearing in August.
Pillai, who has two young daughters, had come to Singapore with his wife to seek medical treatment.
His lawyer, Mr Mathew Kurian, told the court that his client's wife has blood cancer.
DIFFERENT STANDARDS HERE
The victim was a professional nurse looking after your sick wife...and (not to) provide non-nursing services contrary to what you expected. This is Singapore. We have different standards here.
DISTRICT JUDGE MATHEW JOSEPH, chiding businessman Pillai Shyam Kumar Sadashivan.
Pillai committed the offences in their rented apartment near Kent Ridge Park at around 9am on Dec 14 last year - just three days after the private nurse started.
On that day, Pillai's wife was asleep in her bedroom with the door closed when he invited the nurse to sit with him in the living room, where they had a talk.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said: "The accused steered the conversation towards sexual matters. The accused stated that he had not had sexual intercourse with his wife for the past months due to her illness, and claimed that the girls in Dubai provided extra services. He asked the victim if Singaporean girls are the same. The victim understood that the accused was referring to sexual contact and replied that she was a professional nurse and did not do such things."
Pillai then asked the nurse to lift up her top and molested her after she declined. She continued to take care of his wife after he stopped, and even returned to work at the apartment the next day as she was concerned about the woman's health. But she later alerted the police and stopped going to Pillai's home.
DPP Wong said that as a result of the incident, the nurse had to seek counselling and could not return to her job for a while.
Pillai is out on $15,000 bail and will surrender himself at the State Courts next Monday to serve his sentence.