Man jailed for molesting woman on bus

A department store worker who molested a woman three times during a bus journey was jailed for three weeks yesterday.

Indian national Seetharaman Ramesh, 32, pleaded guilty to one charge of using his left hand to touch her underarm area while on board service 13 along Geylang Road on July 25 last year.

Two other charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

The court heard that the 39-year-old victim boarded the SBS Transit bus at Yio Chu Kang bus interchange that morning.

She sat at the second-last row of the bus, next to a window.

Seetharaman got on at Bishan Street 22 about 20 minutes later.

Throughout the journey, he continued to move towards the back of the bus before finally taking the seat behind her.

While the bus was travelling along Geylang Road, he reached through the gap between her seat and the window, so that his fingers could touch her under her left arm.

She turned around and stared at him, and later lodged a police report.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said the court takes a serious view of such offences.

She noted that this was not an isolated act and agreed with the prosecution that a message has to be sent so that opportunistic molesters do not take advantage of women using public transport.

Seetharaman's lawyer Mohamed Baiross said his client is likely to lose his employment and be repatriated. "The very purpose he came to Singapore has been defeated. He is in a lot of debts," Mr Baiross said.

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

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