Former national footballer convicted of molesting Tinder date's friend
After dropping his Tinder date home following a night of clubbing, the married man preyed on her friend
He went clubbing with a woman he had met on Tinder but ended up molesting her friend who tagged along on their date.
When he suddenly kissed the victim on the lips, she kept mum as she did not want to upset her friend, who she thought was interested in him.
But after taking his date home, former national footballer Mohammad Imran Sahib went on to molest the victim in his car, a district court heard.
Yesterday, the 38-year-old was convicted of two counts of molestation and one count of using criminal force after a trial.
Imran, who is married with three children, had denied committing the offences.
But District Judge Kan Shuk Weng found the victim's account to be unusually convincing and said her demeanour in court showed she was still traumatised by the incident.
The woman, who cannot be named, was 21 at the time.
She broke down several times while testifying. She also had nightmares of people raping her and had once dreamt about committing suicide.
She told the court she felt terrified and unprotected after Imran molested her.
She managed to flee when he stopped his car near a bus stop to relieve himself.
She left in such a hurry that she left her high heels behind and walked barefoot for 1.5km to her friend's home .
The judge said the victim's evidence was corroborated by witnesses and carpark gantry records while Imran's defence was fraught with inconsistencies and illogical at times.
Imran, who was represented by lawyer Revi Shanker, alleged the woman was acting strangely and shouting at strangers as she was on methamphetamine.
He claimed she had felt scorned by his lack of interest in her, and that she and her friend had fabricated WhatsApp messages to frame him.
He also alleged that the victim's then-boyfriend, who is the friend's cousin, made the victim file a police report to get back at Imran.
But Judge Kan said the allegations were clearly an afterthought as they were not raised in the statements he gave the police nor were they put to the victim or witnesses during trial.
Imran won four caps with the Lions in 2004 and played for S. League clubs Tampines Rovers, Home United, Woodlands Wellington and Sembawang Rangers.
At the time of the incident, Imran was a Grab driver. He used a pseudonym on the Tinder app.
On March 4, 2018, Imran went clubbing at three clubs with his date and the victim. They left Baliza at Raffles Boulevard after it closed at 6am. At the carpark, his date vomited while walking ahead of Imran and the victim.
It was then that he kissed the victim, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said.
She pushed him away and did not tell her friend.
She sat in the backseat as Imran drove the friend home to Ang Mo Kio. She moved to the front passenger seat after her friend alighted.
While exiting the carpark, Imran touched the victim's right thigh, lifted her skirt and forcefully grabbed her inner thigh.
She pushed him away, but Imran grabbed her right hand and sucked on her fingers.
The woman then sent distressed messages on WhatsApp to her friend, who called her. But the victim did not answer as she was did not want Imran to listen in.
After she escaped from Imran and walked back to her friend's block, her friend did not respond to her texts. She waited in the void deck and took a cab home at about 8am.
Her sister later found her crying in the living room. On March 20, she made a police report with her sister's encouragement.
Judge Kan noted the victim, who is now 23 and married with a child, was initially reluctant to make a police report as she was afraid Imran would hurt her or destroy her reputation.
The judge also found the friend to be a "witness of truth" as she was no longer close to the victim by the time the case went to trial and had no reason to go through the charade of lying.
Imran, who is out on $5,000 bail, will be sentenced on Nov 13.
For each count of molestation, he can be jailed for up to two years, fined and/or caned.
For using criminal force, he can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.