Nurse jailed for 10 months for molesting patient in hospital room
A nurse, who was in charge of a hospital room, molested a patient after he answered her call for help.
Yesterday, the 26-year-old man was jailed for 10 months and given three strokes of the cane for one count of molest.
The offender - who has since been sacked - and the hospital cannot be identified due to a gag order.
On Aug 28 last year, the victim, a 24-year-old woman, was warded in the hospital for treatment for kidney stones, the court was told.
At about 6pm, the woman pressed a button for assistance as she wanted to tell the staff she was depressed.
The accused attended to her and held her hand as he spoke to her. He molested her by massaging her chest over her shirt before slipping his hands under the shirt to grope her.
His actions, which lasted several minutes, shocked the woman, who did not know what to do.
When another nurse entered the room, the accused retracted his hands and moved them to the victim's stomach. To avoid being caught by the other woman, he asked the victim if her stomach hurt. She kept quiet.
After the other nurse left, he massaged the victim's chest again while asking her how she felt and if she needed him to massage her elsewhere.
When she said no, he asked her if the massage was good. He smiled and left after she said no again.
After recomposing herself, the woman reported the incident to another nurse.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Bjorn Tan asked the court to jail the accused for 12 months with three strokes of the cane.
He said the man had abused the trust of the patient-nurse relationship by committing an outrageous act and taking full advantage of the woman while she was in hospital.
Defence lawyer Beverly Lim asked the court to sentence her client to not more than 10 months' jail and not more than three strokes of the cane.
She said he had acted in the spur of the moment and had not used force or violence.
During sentencing, District Judge Christopher Tan noted there was an element of concealment by the accused, which was aggravated by him committing the offence when the victim had called for help.
For using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the woman, the accused could have been jailed for up to two years, or fined, or caned, or given any combination of the three.