Part-time GrabHitch driver jailed for molesting teen

A part-time GrabHitch driver repeatedly molested a passenger as she sat beside him, and stroked her right thigh when she tried to pay her fare.

Indian national Kaliaperumal Panneer Selvam, 47, who is married with two sons, was jailed for three weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of molestation.

Three other outrage of modesty charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that the Singapore permanent resident picked up the 17-year-old student in Bukit Batok Street 33 at about 12.30pm on Jan 15. She had told him to drive her to Selegie Road.

As she was about to enter his silver Hyundai Avante, Kaliaperumal told her to sit in the front passenger seat as he was expecting two more passengers.

She complied and he drove to Bukit Batok West to pick up the pair.

While waiting for the pair, he initiated small talk with the teenager before touching her right hand, which she immediately pulled away.

Kaliaperumal cancelled the two passengers' booking when they failed to turn up.

He molested the teen two more times while driving towards Selegie Road.

When they reached Bencoolen Street at about 12.45pm, she took out some cash to pay.

The court heard that he refused to accept the money and stroked her right thigh.

When the girl placed the cash at the centre compartment of the vehicle, Kaliaperumal took it and put it in her bag.

She alighted at Sunshine Plaza and told her 18-year-old boyfriend about her ordeal when they met later that day.

He then alerted the police at about 1.30pm.

For molesting the girl, Kaliaperumal 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 October 27, 2018, with the headline 'Part-time GrabHitch driver jailed for molesting teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe