Six months' jail for tourist who offered 50 cents to beer promoter after molesting her

SINGAPORE - 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 on Thursday (Nov 30) 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 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.

When she told him that 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 and even though she could not understand what they were saying, she stayed put 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."

Despite this, Shearer continued to try and touch the woman, who fended off his attempts.

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.

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

The lawyer added: "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.