SINGAPORE: There were two drunken passengers who improperly touched their Grab driver as he drove them home, even while on the motorway.
The buddies repeatedly touched the victim, despite his repeated cries for them to stop, in what a judge called a “tag team” effort.
One of them exited the vehicle, and the other climbed into the front passenger seat and began assaulting the victim while she was behind the wheel.
Neo Wei Meng and Goh Suet Hong were each sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday (Jul 5) for using criminal force to infringe upon the victim’s modesty.
At 1.18 a.m. and 3.03 a.m. on November 12, 2018, the crimes were committed in an automobile on the Central Expressway (CTE).
Goh, a hairdresser, and Neo, a freelance interior designer, had a drink around 10 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2018, along Neil Road in New York City.
Neo and Goh drank and then rented the victim’s car to take them to their respective homes in Hougang and Punggol thereafter.
“Do you know god has sent us to please you,” they informed the victim as he picked Goh and Neo up from the airport. in addition to “We are guys dressed as ladies.”
Goh touched the victim’s nipples on the CTE during the first leg of the ride to Hougang. He was told to stop by the victim.
Neo also made contact with the victim’s private parts at the same moment. The man continued to lick his cheek and ear after the victim requested him to stop, the victim testified.
After a while, the victim claims that Goh and Neo switched places, with Goh getting closer to his privates and Neo touching his nipples. Despite his admonitions to the contrary, they continued nevertheless.
Goh and Neo only slowed down after exiting the freeway, according to him.
After Neo arrived at his Hougang home, the second part of the voyage began.
Changing seats, Goh rubbed his privates again before kissing and stroking the victim on the cheek and lips.
On their way into town from Punggol, the victim recalls Goh making an effort to encourage them to spend some time together in the car but she refuses.
Afterwards, Goh instructed the victim to drive to a multi-story car park and wait while he went outside to use the restroom. When the victim drove off, Goh was still peeing behind a pillar when the incident occurred.
The victim went to a police station at 3 a.m. and reported that he had been molested, as well as handing over Goh’s things that had been left in the car.
Judge Hairul Hakkim Kuthibutheen stated that the testimony of the victim was “unusually convincing” and had “that ring of reality” over Goh’s and Neo’s testimonies.
First, Goh claimed that he was asleep during the first portion of the trip. After Goh kissed the victim, he admitted to the crimes, but said he thought the victim had consented because he smiled at him.
It was denied by Magistrate Hairul Hakkim because the sequence of events “defies logic,” according to him.
Also, the defense of implied or mistaken permission was rejected by the judge, ruling that Goh did not prove that he had exercised reasonable care and attention in purportedly coming to believe the victim consented.
After boarding the car, Neo claimed that he fell asleep and barely spoke to the victim. His defense was one of sheer denial.
This argument was rejected by the magistrate because he found the evidence of the victim to be accurate.
While testifying at the trial, the defense’s counsel contended that the victim’s account could not be trusted due to his inability to pinpoint the location of the alleged attackers, Goh and Neo, in the automobile.
“This is a terrible deception,” Magistrate Hairul Hakkim stated, because it was evident that Neo had been sitting behind him, and Goh had been in the middle rear seat, when they were traveling.
He further contended that the victim failed to seek help while traveling despite having “ample chance” to do so.
This might have happened for a variety of reasons, including a car stopping on the side of a highway or a couple crossing the road for help.
In prior judgements, the High Court made it plain that a victim of a sexual offense cannot be anticipated or expected to respond in a particular way.
Some of the victim’s arguments for continuing to drive with the passengers after the assault were recalled by the magistrate.
“Terrorized” and afraid of Goh and Neo, the victim claimed he was afraid to quit the journey early for fear that his Grab account would be shut down if he did so.
This was the only source of revenue he had at the time of the occurrence, which he needed to pay the daily car rental fee for the vehicle.
According to the magistrate, it is natural that the victim feared for his safety while being molested by two inebriated male passengers in a car.
Victims’ evidence that he drove off at the multi-story parking garage because Goh and Neo were no longer in his car was noticed by the magistrate.
He also emphasized the fact that the front passenger door from which Goh alighted was not entirely shut when the victim drove away, a fact that was supported by both Goh and the victim.
According to the magistrate, this showed the victim’s “desperation” to flee for his or her life.
The sentencing hearing for Goh and Neo will take place on Thursday.
Goh faces nine to ten months in prison, while Neo faces 14 to 15 months in prison and three canings, according to Deputy Public Prosecutor David Menon.
He noted that because the victim was a public transportation worker and Goh and Neo were intoxicated at the time, the offenses were more serious.
Goh and Neo took advantage of the victim’s vulnerabilities while also posing a safety risk to him and other road users, according to the prosecutor.
It “simply happened,” according to Mr. Karuppaya, who pleaded with the court not to consider his clients’ intoxication an aggravating factor.
If you use criminal force to infringe on someone’s modesty, you could face two years in prison, a fine, or caning.