Gardener jailed for molesting maid in lift

An Indian national was jailed for nine weeks yesterday for molesting a foreign domestic worker in a lift.

Palanivel Rajesh, a 24-year-old gardener, pleaded guilty to placing his hands on the 25-year-old Indonesian woman's arms and asking her to kiss him. He then placed one of his hands below her armpit and the other on her left arm, and asked her not to shout.

The incident happened at a block of flats in Jurong West Central 1 on April 30. The court heard that the victim was returning to the Housing Board block after buying newspapers for her employer. Along the way, Rajesh approached her and asked for her phone number. But she said that she did not have a mobile phone.

He followed her into the lift. As the lift was going up, he placed his hands on her arms and asked her to kiss him. She shouted at him and pushed his hands away.

When the lift door opened at the seventh floor, the victim ran out of the lift. Rajesh went back to the ground floor. Later that afternoon, the victim saw him cutting grass nearby and called the police.

He could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received a combined punishment.

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