Serangoon MRT molestation case: NUS student committed serious offence, says prosecution

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A view of the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Law campus in Singapore Reuters

The offence committed by the National University of Singapore (NUS) student Terence Siow Kai Yuan, against a 28-year-old woman is a serious one, said the prosecution in a post-sentence hearing on Friday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong stated that the offence committed by Siow is a serious one that involves sexual contact, while District Judge Jasvender Kaur said, "We have been through that."

It should be noted that the NUS student was given 21 months of supervised probation after he molested a woman at Serangoon MRT station in November 2018 while travelling on the North-East Line towards Punggol MRT Station.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday, September 25 to one charge of outraging the modesty of a 28-year-old woman and two similar charges were also taken into consideration.

DPP Wong told the court that at the last hearing, "there was a request by the prosecution for a stay for consideration for appeal, but no appeal was actually pending, or no notice had been filed at that point," adding that since then, prosecution has filed a notice of appeal against Siow's sentence.

Later the defence lawyer Raphael Louis mentioned in the court that Siow should be allowed to continue with the probation. He also asked the judge to allow his client to continue with the rehabilitative process.

In addition, the lawyer stated that Siow is "in touch with the probation officer. He needs help, he wants to change, but he cannot change by himself."

As per Channel NewsAsia, NUS said that it convened a disciplinary board in October last year to look into Siow's case and eventually imposed disciplinary sanctions on him as well as a suspension.

It should be noted that the prosecution had pushed for six weeks of a jail sentence for Siow instead of the probation sentence.

Later, during the Friday hearing judge granted the prosecution its application to stay Siow's probation order pending the appeal in High Court.

However, a few days ago on September 27, the Home Affairs and Law Minister, K Shanmugam, said that the molestation case outcome has "surprised" him when a university student was given probation after the court rejected the prosecution's appeal for a custodial sentence.

After this, the minister took it to social media and revealed that the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) disagreed with the verdict and intend to appeal. Later reports said the AGC has filed an appeal against the sentence.

Related topics : Singapore crime