Singapore: Mentally unwell Uber driver jailed after being involved in 20 molestation cases

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An Uber driver was given a two-week jail term on charges of outrage of modesty of a female passenger after it was revealed in court that the man had been involved in 20 similar incidents since 2010.

The convict, 27-year-old Ng Chee Hong, was previously given a probation order for his offence. However, the prosecution appealed to the High Court for a harsher sentence. After Ng confessed his crimes to his psychiatrist and psychologists, the court gave him a jail term on Friday, January 26.

The convict has been diagnosed with frotteurism, a mental health disorder in which a person has strong urges to touch or rub against a non-consenting or unaware person.

Ng had been given warnings by the police twice before, in 2011 and 2015, but he continued his misbehaviour until June 2017. In the present accusation, he pleaded guilty to molesting his female passenger.

Ng was initially sentenced to an 18-month probation order by the State Courts in September 2017 after he pleaded guilty to stroking the woman's right thigh in 2016. He is presently a Customer Service Officer in his father's company.

In September 2016, the victim was an uberPOOL passenger in Ng's car. While dropping her off at Bukit Panjang MRT station, he had touched her right thigh, after which she lodged a complaint against him with the police.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhong Shan, Ng had committed a 'series of offences' and was first questioned by the police in 2011 for molestation incidents. After being let off with a warning that time, he was finally arrested in 2015 after he brushed his hand against the thighs of some secondary school girls on a bus.

He worked as an Uber driver between June and September 2016, during which time he touched the thighs of several female passengers whose rides he accepted. Many complaints had been launched against him with Uber.

Tan stated that the man had a degree of premeditation as he had asked the passenger to sit in the front passenger seat. He sought an eight-week jail term of Ng, but the judge found it too harsh.

While announcing the court's decision, Justice Tay said, ""Even if I regard (Ng) as a first offender despite the many voluntary confessions made by him to the psychiatrist and psychologist about his previous actions of a similar nature to the charge, the fact remains that (Ng) has accepted that this was not an isolated incident that was out of character with his general conduct."

Related topics : Singapore crime