Singapore

Man who molested 3 women and a man jailed 11 months

Victim tails him after he grabs her crotch, calls police to say 'he's molesting everyone'

A woman groped by a man in the street called the police and told them: "He's molesting everyone here."

Pulanthiradas K. Manikam, a Singaporean, molested three women in the space of an hour during a trip to Orchard Road, then - while out on bail over those crimes - molested an 18-year-old man a week before he was due to return to court.

The 55-year-old was sentenced to 11 months' jail yesterday after pleading guilty to three charges of outrage of modesty, with one more taken into consideration.

His molestation spree started at around 10.40am on January 9 last year, the court heard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said Pulanthiradas, who is jobless, had approached a 24-year-old staff member who was sorting clothes in a store at ION Orchard. He then mumbled something, grabbed her torso and pulled her towards him, refusing to let go as she struggled to break free.

Eventually, he let go of her and left the store. The woman told her colleague, who called the police.

Five minutes later, DPP Lim said Pulanthiradas accosted a 47-year-old woman outside a shop at Shaw Centre - stretching out his arm to grab her crotch.

The woman shouted at him and hit him on the back, but he ignored her and continued walking.

She followed him and saw him reaching out towards another woman's chest outside a restaurant, said DPP Lim. She then called the police, telling them he was "molesting everyone here".

Pulanthiradas was arrested and scheduled to plead guilty on March 8 this year. But while out on bail, he re-offended, this time outraging the modesty of a man.

DPP Lim said that on March 1, Pulanthiradas approached the victim at a traffic light in Chin Swee Road and asked him to go out for drinks.

When the victim declined, the older man told him that he had a nice body, and made suggestive comments but the younger man ignored him.

Pulanthiradas followed him to the lift lobby of the victim's residence, where he put his hand down the younger man's shorts and underwear and touched his buttock. The teen lodged a police report the next day. Pulanthiradas was arrested again.

Pulanthiradas's lawyer said that his client had a history of mental health issues but DPP Lim countered that there was no medical evidence to prove that it influenced his actions.

The punishment for outrage of modesty is up to two years' jail, a fine, caning, or a combination of the three.

COURT & CRIME