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Elderly man molested woman in front of husband, then offered S$10 to be let go

84-year-old jailed 18 weeks for intentionally brushing his elbow against her breast

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Singapore — An elderly man has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison for molesting a woman in front of her husband at a Chinatown mall.

When confronted by the husband, 84-year-old Poh Seng Khian offered the man $10 to let him go. The couple, however, alerted the police and officers later arrested the elderly man.

Poh pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Jan 7) to one count of outraging the woman’s modesty.

At around 11.50 am on May 12 last year, the couple, who remain unnamed to protect the wife’s identity, were on the second floor of People’s Park Centre. They were at that time heading to the overhead link bridge that connects to Upper Cross Street.

The husband, 48, had gone a few steps ahead of his wife, 47, but stopped and turned to wait for her. He saw Poh, who came from the opposite direction, stretch out his right arm and intentionally brush his elbow against her breast.

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TODAY reports that court documents indicate that the man knew what he was doing and that the incident had not been accidental.

According to Ms Melinda Chew, the Deputy Public Prosecutor, the area was not crowded and the elderly man had every opportunity to avoid bodily conduct with the woman.

The court heard that, while the couple were waiting for the police, Poh apologised for what he did and offered $10 to the husband to drop the matter and let him go.

As a maximum penalty for the act of molestation, the elderly man could have been fined and/or received a jail sentence of up to two years. He cannot be caned because men over the age of 50 are not caned.

In October last year, TISG reported that the Singapore Police Force had seen an alarming upward trend in outrage of modesty cases over the past year.

“Outrage of modesty cases have been on an increasing trend and remain a key concern for the police,” the SPF said.

On one day alone, seven men were charged over separate incidents of molestation. The suspects were aged between 26 and 75. They targeted victims in various public places. The victims were all women, ranging in age from 20 to 40. They were molested at the Orchard MRT Station and at a nearby shopping centre, a Sentosa monorail station, a clinic in Tanjong Pagar Road, along Gangsa Road, during a taxi ride, and inside a Serangoon residence.

The SPF suggested ways to guard against molesters, which included being aware of one’s surroundings, avoiding walking through dimly-lit or secluded places, and avoiding taking a lift with a stranger.

The police also advised people to “carry a shrill alarm” and to seek the immediate help of people in the vicinity.

Victims should take note of the perpetrator’s prominent features and attire and report the incident to 999 as soon as possible. -/TISG

Read also: Police concerned by rise of molestation cases

Police concerned by rise of molestation cases

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