AGC appeals against verdict of 'minor intrusion' molest case
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has filed an appeal against the verdict in the case involving molester, Terence Siow Kai Yuan.
The intention to file the appeal was revealed in a Facebook post by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.
Mr Shanmugam said AGC officers disagreed with the verdict and added this was consistent with his own views.
An AGC spokesman told TNP: “The Attorney-General’s Chambers has filed an appeal to the High Court with respect to the sentence imposed on Terence Siow Kai Yuan. We are unable to comment further as the matter is before the Courts.”
On Wednesday (Sept 25), Siow, 23, a student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), was given 21 months’ probation for one count of molest.
The New Paper had reported another two charges for molest were taken into consideration.
The Applied Mathematics undergraduate had molested a woman twice on a train and once at Serangoon MRT Station, last year.
He also admitted he had been committing such acts since he enrolled in NUS in 2016.
During sentencing, the prosecution had urged the court to jail him for six weeks.
But this was rejected by District Judge, Jasvender Kaur, who had determined the acts to be "minor intrusions".
She had also noted the probation report found Siow suitable for probation as he had strong family support and his academic results showed he had the potential to excel in life.
Public outrage followed TNP’s report on his case yesterday with many questioning why grades were a factor in the verdict.
The victim, Ms Karmen Siew, 28, outed herself on social media, yesterday, and voiced her disappointment at his lenient sentence.
In his post today, Mr Shanmugam noted the public’s reaction, and said he too was surprised by the verdict.
He wrote: "I therefore asked AGC for their views. AGC officers told me that they disagreed with the verdict, and that they intend to appeal. That is consistent with my views as well."
He also said that Ms Siew’s father had written to him.
Mr Shanmugam said as a parent himself, he understood how the victim and her parents must feel.
The minister however, warned that the public should avoid casting aspersions on the judge.
“People are entitled to express their views, unhappiness, with the verdict, and their feelings that the punishment is inadequate,” he wrote.
He also urged the public to let the Appeal Court look into the matter.
And if the decision from the appeal is decided, and society believes the law should deliver a different outcome, then Parliament will have to deal with that by changing the law.
He added: “And people know – in Singapore, the Government will move, and put legislation before Parliament to consider.”
Commenting on his post, Ms Siew thanked the minister on his Facebook page.
She wrote: “It was difficult to wait one year, only to get no closure on the matter.”