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Private-hire driver on trial for molesting two girls, aged 7 and 10, in his car

SINGAPORE — After a 10-year-old girl booked a Grab ride to go to her friend’s home for a slumber party, the driver allegedly touched her inappropriately while she sat alone with her dog in the back seat.

Lom Mun Hoi, 47, leaving the State Courts on July 13, 2021.

Lom Mun Hoi, 47, leaving the State Courts on July 13, 2021.

  • Lom Mun Hoi is contesting three charges of molesting a minor
  • The Grab driver is accused of molesting two girls on separate occasions in 2017
  • The older girl, then aged 10, claimed he kept touching her knee during a ride and asked her where she lived
  • She later told her friend what had happened

 

SINGAPORE — After a 10-year-old girl booked a Grab ride to go to her friend’s home for a slumber party, the driver allegedly touched her inappropriately while she sat alone with her dog in the back seat.

The man, Lom Mun Hoi, now aged 47, began standing trial in the State Courts on Tuesday (July 13) for molesting the Primary 4 student and another seven-year-old girl.

The alleged victims cannot be named due to court orders to protect their identities. Family members and friends giving evidence cannot be named either.

Lom is contesting three molestation charges, one in relation to the older girl.

The Singaporean is accused of touching her knee twice with his hand on the afternoon of Aug 25, 2017 at traffic light junctions in Yishun, with the intent to outrage her modesty.

As for the younger girl, Lom is said to have touched her groin area over her dress twice within 10 minutes while they were in his car at Tampines Mall on June 14, 2017.

On Tuesday, four prosecution witnesses gave evidence about the older girl’s complaint. They were a child psychiatrist who interviewed her, her friend and the friend’s parents.

The court has yet to hear testimony about the younger girl.

ASKED QUESTIONS

Dr Bernardine Woo, a senior consultant at the Institute of Mental Health’s child guidance clinic, took the court through a medical report she had prepared in January 2018 after interviewing the older girl and her mother.

The police had referred the girl to Dr Woo for an assessment on whether she was fit to testify and what impact the incident had on her.

The girl told Dr Woo that she had booked a Grab ride to go to her friend’s home in Yishun. Before getting into Lom’s car with her dog, she put her bag in the boot.

Lom allegedly asked her where she was going and where she lived, but she lied about her address. He also purportedly said that he would look for her and take her to McDonald’s.

Dr Woo’s report stated that the girl said Lom turned around in his seat at traffic light junctions, stretched out his hand and touched and rubbed her knee. She was sitting behind the front passenger seat.

He also asked why her dog was licking her on one occasion.

She told Dr Woo that when they got to her friend’s home, Lom touched her cheek, told her to behave and gave her three sweets.

She felt afraid and immediately alighted. She later told her friend about what had happened.

The friend testified that the girl told her she felt uncomfortable. The friend’s parents testified that they got home later. After learning of the incident, the father called Grab to lodge a complaint and told his wife to call the girl’s mother.

The girl’s mother then took her to a police station to file a report.

Lom’s defence lawyer, Mr Riko Isaac Chua, questioned Dr Woo on whether it was possible that the girl had recalled the incident inaccurately. Dr Woo said that her account was “largely consistent” with what she had told the police.

Mr Chua then told the court that someone had posted on Facebook, alleging that Lom asked the girl to “add him to her Facebook group”. But Dr Woo said that this was not in her report because the girl did not tell him this.

When the father of the girl's friend’s took the stand, Mr Chua asked him why he had merely complained to Grab but did not call the police.

The other man replied that he left the decision to inform the authorities to the girl’s mother.

After he was done giving testimony and was about to leave the courtroom, District Judge John Ng told him that Mr Chua was simply doing his job. The judge added: “You did what you thought was best at the time.”

The trial continues in September. Lom remains out on bail of S$20,000.

If convicted of molesting a minor under 14, he could be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of the three.

Related topics

court crime molest private-hire car drivers Grab

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