Ex-TP inspector cleared of molesting 3 male subordinates

Mohd Taufik Abu Bakar, 56, was released from prison following his acquittal on appeal.
Mohd Taufik Abu Bakar, 56, was released from prison following his acquittal on appeal.

He remains convicted of two charges, for which he was sentenced to 12 weeks' jail

A former Traffic Police inspector convicted last year of molesting four male subordinates has been cleared of charges relating to three of them, after the High Court allowed his appeal.

Mohd Taufik Abu Bakar, 56, remains convicted of two charges of molesting the other man, for which he was sentenced to a 12-week jail term.

Taufik, who has served about half of his original jail sentence of 16 months and nine weeks' jail, was released from prison on March 22 following his acquittal by the High Court.

His lawyers, Mr Mahmood Gaznavi and Ms Khadijah Yasin, had argued that their client did not have the intention to molest his accusers when he made physical contact with them. The men were then doing their national service as special constables.

The defence argued that while Taufik was undeniably in a more senior role, he was a well-known "jokester" and his actions were carried out in the context of friendly banter.

Taufik, who is married, was originally charged with molesting five special constables.

During his trial, he testified that he used terms of endearment like "darling" and "sayang" on his subordinates to make the environment "jovial".

He said he also joked with them by massaging their shoulders for a few seconds and tapping on their bodies to "make things lively".

After a six-day trial, a district judge convicted him of molesting four men but acquitted him of molesting the fifth, who said he did not feel violated after the accused grabbed his buttock.

Taufik started serving his sentence in July last year but appealed against his conviction on the six charges. High Court Judge Chan Seng Onn acquitted him of four charges.

Two of those relate to a 21-year-old that Taufik had invited to his flat on Sept 13, 2015, so that he could teach the subordinate how to treat his body odour problem.

He was accused of applying hair removal cream on the man's pubic region and massaging the man's naked body while applying body scrub on him.

Taufik said he only applied cream to the man's armpits and that he got permission from the subordinate to apply the scrub.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai argued that just because the man did not say anything or stop the accused did not mean that he had consented to the acts.

The third charge related to Taufik slapping the buttocks of another 21-year-old in an office corridor in mid-2015. Taufik said this was a "joke".

The fourth charge related to Taufik putting his hand around the waist of a 24-year-old and pulling him close between January and July 2015.

Justice Chan did not overturn the convictions for two charges in which Taufik pinched the nipple of a 22-year-old and squeezed the man's buttock in mid-2015.

The man said he felt "angry" and "used" in the first incident and that he wanted to elbow the face of the accused in the second incident.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2019, with the headline 'Ex-TP inspector cleared of molesting 3 male subordinates'. Print Edition | Subscribe