Jail, caning for repeat offender who molested victim in lift, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Jail, caning for repeat offender who molested victim in lift

A man who molested a woman inside a Housing Board flat elevator in January turned out to be a repeat offender who was on remission from a previous offence.

On April 30, Oh Hong Hwa, 37, pleaded guilty to one charge of outrage of modesty and was sentenced to three years’ jail and two strokes of the cane.

He was also given an enhanced sentence of 55 days’ jail as he had committed the offence while on remission.

He chose to keep quiet when asked if he had anything to say during his mitigation.

Two decades ago, he had also been convicted of outrage of modesty, receiving a two-year jail term and one stroke of the cane.

The court heard Oh was again convicted in October 2022 for the use of criminal force, although the sentence for this case was not mentioned.

On Jan 20, 2024, Oh was at an ATM machine in the vicinity of his flat when he noticed and followed a woman, 29, on her way home.

The victim cannot be named due to a gag order imposed by the court.

At around 2.30pm, Oh entered the elevator with her.

The prosecution said the woman felt Oh was acting suspiciously at this point, and felt uncomfortable that he was standing close behind her as they pressed the lift buttons for different floors.

As the lift doors closed, Oh moved towards the woman and proceeded to forcefully cover her mouth with one hand, while he touched her back with his other hand.

The woman immediately screamed and tried to break free from Oh’s grip. She managed to push him away, while swiping at him with her umbrella.

When the lift doors opened, she ran out and shouted for help, with Oh still following her.

Some residents who heard her cries for help went to her aid. Court documents did not say where Oh was at this time. She made a police report around 2.40pm.

Oh was arrested by the police on the same day. Some of his actions and movements were captured on a closed circuit television (CCTV), although court documents did not say where the CCTV was located.

Outrage of modesty carries a jail term of up to three years, a fine, caning, or any combination of such punishments.