Molester gets jail, caning after DNA links him to two crimes five years apart

SINGAPORE - A man molested a woman in her boyfriend's car and got away with it for five years.

But the law caught up with him in 2016, after he trespassed into a university hostel and performed a lewd act in front of a student.

DNA samples taken after the latter crime linked him to his earlier offence.

For his crimes, Muhammad Shahrin Mohd Shah, 32, was jailed for two years and eight months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Jan 24).

He admitted to two charges - aggravated molestation in 2011 and house trespass in 2016.

A court heard how on Oct 23, 2011, Shahrin forced himself into a car where a woman had gone to rest at 4.30am after drinking at a Clarke Quay pub.

After opening the door, he squeezed himself next to the 32-year-old and used his elbow to pin her down.

A struggle ensued, and although Shahrin managed to kiss the woman on the lips, she bit him and escaped from the driver's door when he loosened his grip on her arm, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said.

DPP Ng also said that at around 5am on Nov 2, 2016, an 18-year-old Chinese national was asleep in her hostel room at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) when she woke to see Shahrin standing next to her. He was naked from the waist down, had a T-shirt covering his face and wore a dark jacket.

He asked if he could have sex with her. When she rejected him, he talked to her about his problems for more than an hour before performing an obscene act in front of her and leaving.

The police were alerted, and a cleaner reported seeing Shahrin driving a black vehicle. The police traced Shahrin's whereabouts using the vehicle registration number provided by the cleaner. Shahrin was arrested on Nov 18, 2016.

Four other charges against Shahrin - three for trespass at NTU and one for molesting the 18-year-old - were taken into consideration during sentencing.