MRT molester wins appeal for shorter jail term

MRT molester wins appeal for shorter jail term

Two weeks after she was groped on a packed MRT train on her way to school, a 14-year-old girl found herself being molested by the same man a second time.

When she saw the construction worker on the train on a third occasion, she decided to make a police report.

Her molester - Forhad Abdul Rouf, 30, a Bangladeshi - saw his jail term cut from 15 to 11 months yesterday after a successful appeal to the High Court.

On the morning of Nov 6 last year, the teen was standing at a metal pole near the train door when Forhad touched her breast, moved his hand away, then groped her again.

Twelve days later, she was on her way to school when she felt someone rubbing her thigh - and realised that it was the same man who had molested her two weeks earlier.

She grabbed his hand to stop him as the train was too crowded for her to move, letting go only when she was able to get away.

Two days later, she saw him again on the train. She made a police report the next day.

Forhad was originally sentenced to 15 months' jail late last year after he pleaded guilty in the State Courts to three counts of outrage of modesty, with a fourth taken into consideration.

He appealed to the High Court for a shorter term. Yesterday, Justice Chao Hick Tin cut the jail term - from six months to two months - on one of the charges for rubbing the victim's thigh, saying it was not a private part.

Judge of Appeal Chao made it clear the court was not condoning his actions.

Every person who travels on public transport should feel "comfortable" and not feel concerned about others trying to take advantage of them, he said.

This article was published on May 21 in The Straits Times.

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