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4 years' jail and caning for man who carried woman to a field and molested her

4 years' jail and caning for man who carried woman to a field and molested her
PHOTO: Pexels

SINGAPORE — What started out as a night of merrymaking for a 21-year-old woman at a Turf Club Road restaurant turned into a nightmare when a man carried her out of the premises and took her to a nearby field.

Indian national Erugula Eswara Reddy, who was in Singapore on a student pass, then lay the Briton on the ground and undressed himself after molesting her.

One of the woman's male friends went to the field when he heard a faraway scream and saw that Erugula was naked with the partially-dressed weeping victim lying face up nearby.

The friend alerted the police and officers arrived at the scene to arrest the offender.

On Jan 19, Erugula, 25, who pleaded guilty to a molestation charge, was sentenced to four years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

Shortly before the incident, the woman had met up with some friends for drinks in the evening of Aug 20, 2022 and consumed some alcoholic beverages.

At around 11pm, they went to the Festivo @ Mr Gallop restaurant in Turf Club Road near Dunearn Road. She felt tipsy, but was still able to walk unassisted and was aware of her surroundings.

She sat on a chair in the eatery after throwing up and sent a text message to a male friend who was supposed to be there. She also shared with him her live location at the time.

Erugula then approached the woman and she felt uncomfortable when he started talking to her. The victim told him that she was fine and did not need any help.

At 1.40am, she sent a text message to her friend about her encounter with Erugula.

Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu told the court: "The accused then lifted the victim off her chair, held her face-to-face and carried her out of Festivo. The victim could not see where the accused was taking her as her back was facing the direction in which they were moving.

"During this time, the victim asked the accused not to take her and to let her go but the accused persisted with his actions. The accused also took the victim's handphone from her."

Erugula took the woman to a nearby field, placed her on the ground and hovered over her. She told him to stop and stay away but her cries fell on deaf ears.

Despite these, she managed to convince him to return her mobile phone. At around 1.50am, she used the device to send a few messages to her friend, asking for help.

Erugula took away the mobile phone and molested the woman before undressing himself.

Her concerned friend, who had arrived at Festivo, received the messages and left the restaurant with a party of searchers to look for the woman.

He heard a faraway scream as he was walking near some tennis courts and saw the silhouettes of two people, who turned out to be Erugula and the victim, at the open field in the distance.

The friend and his group then made their way there. As they came forward, Erugula, who was in the nude, moved away from the crying victim.

The friend called for the police at around 2am and Erugula was arrested soon after.

On Jan 19, DPP Lu urged the court to sentence him to four years' jail and six strokes of the cane, adding: "During his interaction with the victim, the accused must have noticed that the victim was drunk, alone and vulnerable, which is why the accused chose to take advantage of her."

For committing the offence, Erugula could have been jailed for between two and 10 years, and caned.

ALSO READ: Man brings drunk friend home, tries but fails to rape her

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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