Singapore

Man jailed for molesting 12-year-old boy in lift

When a 12-year-old boy was molested in a lift the first time, he, out of fear, did not tell his parents.

But when he was molested again the next day by the same man, he mustered up the courage and told his mother about the incidents.

On Tuesday (Oct 3), Syed Hashim Wahid, 29, was jailed for eight months after he admitted to touching the victim in a lift at a block of flats in Woodlands on May 24, 2016.

A second similar charge was considered during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling told the court that at about 8.50pm that day, the victim was cycling home after buying some groceries when he noticed Hashim standing near the rubbish chute area at the HDB block.

Just as the victim wheeled his bicycle into the lift, Hashim followed him in and proceeded to strike up a conversation with the victim.

As the lift was ascending, Hashim stretched out his hand and molested the victim. The victim reacted by immediately covering his groin area with his hand and Hashim retracted his hand.

The victim was scared and did not tell anyone.

However, when the victim bumped into Hashim in the lift the next day and the same thing happened to him, he told his mother about the incidents.

A few days later, a neighbour called the police and reported the case.

DPP Chee sought at least 10 months' jail to be imposed, citing various aggravating factors.

She said the victim's private part was intruded upon and the offence was premeditated.

"The audacity of the accused in committing the offence in the lift in the course of two consecutive days should be viewed with disapprobation and a harsher sentence commensurate with the enhanced degree of exploitation against the child victim should be meted out," she argued.

Hashim, she said, had brazenly approached the victim on the pretext of getting to know him. He took advantage of the fact that the boy's mobility was restricted by his bicycle in the lift.

Hashim, represented by Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Advocate Sadhana Rai, could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combination of punishments for outrage of modesty.

courtCOURT & CRIMELift