Doctor loses appeal against molest rap

Medical doctor Winston Lee Siew Boon, 71, failed to escape jail for molesting a patient on two occasions after the High Court yesterday dismissed his appeal against conviction and 10-month prison sentence.

Justice Chan Seng Onn found that the woman's testimony was "completely consistent internally" and that she had no motive to falsely accuse Lee of touching her breast.

Lee's testimony was "beset with inconsistencies" and far less logical than that of the woman, said the judge as he upheld the conviction.

In rejecting the doctor's appeal, Justice Chan noted that the general practitioner - who is also known as a motoring writer - had abused his position of trust as a medical practitioner.

Lee was "particularly cunning" in disguising his act of molestation as part of his explanation of a potential medical problem while examining the patient, said the judge.

The woman trusted Lee and even gave him the benefit of the doubt after the first incident, noted Justice Chan.

"It is loathsome that he did not relent and tried it again by molesting her twice on the second occasion.

"He violated the dignity of the complainant on more than one occasion and in the conduct of his noble and professional duty," said the judge.

However, Lee, a doctor for 40 years, was allowed to start serving his jail term on Aug 17. He was released on bail of $15,000.

He had asked for time to transfer his 70,000 patients to other doctors, make caregiving arrangements for his stroke-afflicted wife and undergo a medical check-up.

Lee was 67 in June 2011 when the woman, 34, a medical product sales representative, went to his Bukit Batok clinic to do a HIV blood test. After her blood was drawn, she complained of nausea and flatulence, and Lee told her to lie down on a bed.

She then told him she had chest pain and asked if she could continue to exercise. Lee put his hand under her bra and squeezed her breast as he told her that she could exercise, as long as she did not feel pain there.

The woman brushed it off as part of the check-up, thinking it was the doctor's way of showing the location of her heart.

Four months later, when she saw him for a sore throat and to discuss weight management, he groped her breast twice.

She was confused but made a police report after checking with her boss and a female doctor on whether the doctor's actions were appropriate.

Lee's version of the events was that he had placed a clenched fist over her breastbone to show where she would feel chest pains.

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