NZ tourist jailed for molesting beer promoter

While on holiday in Singapore, a New Zealander molested a beer promoter, before laughing and offering her 50 cents.

Sheep farmer Jeffrey Bruce Shearer, 46, was jailed for six months yesterday after he pleaded guilty on Nov 10 to outraging the 39-year-old woman's modesty.

He had gone to a Jurong West coffee shop with his father-in-law, a British national, at around 9.30pm on July 24 and they ordered two bottles of beer from the beer promoter.

Shearer ordered another bottle from her at around 10pm, the court heard.

She went to their table with the beer and stood on Shearer's left while he was seated.

When she told him it cost $6, he gave her $6.10 and told her the extra 10 cents was a tip. The woman accepted it and thanked him.

Shearer and his father-in-law then spoke to her in English. Even though she could not understand what they were saying, she did not walk away so as not to appear rude.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said: "Suddenly, the accused gave the victim a 'perverted smile', reached his left hand towards the victim's right breast and forcefully grabbed it. The victim felt pain from the grab and she immediately pushed the accused's hand away."

Shearer continued to try and touch the woman, who fended off his attempts for a few seconds.

When she shouted at him, he laughed and offered her a 50-cent coin, which she rejected.

Upset and insulted, the beer promoter told other diners about her ordeal and they advised her to inform her husband. She called him and he alerted the police at around 11.10pm.

Yesterday, Shearer's lawyer, Mr T.M. Sinnadurai, pleaded for his client to be given either a large fine or less than two months' jail.

The lawyer said: "He is deeply remorseful for his actions... The touch lasted for only a second."

DPP James Chew, however, urged the court to jail Shearer for at least six months.

Stressing that the woman felt pain after the farmer grabbed her, he said: "His conduct was chauvinistic and completely demeaning to the victim."

Before handing out the sentence, District Judge Dorothy Ling said: "A message must go out that service staff must be treated with respect."

For molesting the woman, Shearer could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2017, with the headline 'NZ tourist jailed for molesting beer promoter'. Print Edition | Subscribe