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10 days’ jail for intoxicated man who molested woman resembling his deceased wife

SINGAPORE — After a night of hard drinking, Sim Kah Hwee was on his way to his mother’s home when he saw a woman who he thought resembled his deceased wife.

10 days’ jail for intoxicated man who molested woman resembling his deceased wife

After being molested by Sim Kah Hwee as she was getting out of a lift and being involved in a push-and-shove that ensued, a woman was able to call the police for help.

SINGAPORE — After a night of hard drinking, Sim Kah Hwee was on his way to his mother’s home when he saw a woman who he thought resembled his deceased wife.

Rather than heading to his original destination, Sim followed the woman and groped her buttock after getting into a lift with her.

On Thursday (Nov 25), the 35-year-old was jailed for 10 days after he pleaded guilty to a single charge for molestation.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tessa Tan said that the incident happened on the evening of Oct 18 in 2019.

Sim went out with his colleagues after work and “consumed quite a lot of hard liquor”, she said.

After that, he was intoxicated and took a private-hire vehicle back to his mother’s home at around 11pm.

While walking towards his mother’s block, he saw a 25-year-old woman who he thought resembled his deceased wife.

Changing course because he wanted to get close to the woman, he followed her into a lift and stood near the door as it travelled upwards.

As the woman was getting out of the lift, Sim took the opportunity to grope her buttock.

Shocked, she scolded him and Sim then tried to get the lift door to close on her but was unable to do so.

The victim tried to grab onto Sim, but he pushed her into the lift and fled down the stairwell.

The prosecutor, who sought a jail term of two weeks, said that the victim was not injured and was able to call the police for help.

In pleading for a lighter sentence for his client, defence lawyer S Balamurugan from law firm K&L Gates Straits Law, said that Sim had taken to alcohol as a coping mechanism after losing his wife to suicide in 2017.

He said that the father of two young children did not seek professional help to cope with his grief.

“When our client first saw the victim, which was unexpected, all he wanted was to have a look at her as she resembled his late wife and followed her,” Mr Balamurugan said.

While the offence took place in a lift, the lawyer said that unlike other molestation cases that take place in a similar setting, Sim did not commit the offence immediately or try to restrict the victim’s mobility.

“It has to be noted that the offence occurred only when the victim was walking out of the lift and the contact was momentary or fleeting and not continuous. Crucially, there was no skin-to-skin contact between our client and the victim,” Mr Balamurugan said.

The lawyer added that Sim wanted to apologise to the victim “unreservedly”.

“He is... greatly ashamed that he got himself in such a situation. He respects women and has never taken liberty on them. He knows that the incident is isolated and it will not be repeated.”

For his offence, Sim could have been sentenced to two years' jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of these penalties.

Related topics

court crime molest lift suicide

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