A 27-year-old Indian national was jailed for five days and fined SGD 2,500 (nearly Rs 1.30 lakh) on Tuesday for embracing and inappropriately touching a woman at a church.
Rajendran Prakash was drunk when he entered the Church of Our Lady Lourdes at about 1 pm on September 29 last year and touched and embraced the woman there, Channel News Asia reported.
An eyewitness, retiree Eu Seng Kee, was praying in the church when he heard the commotion and saw Rajendran rubbing the woman’s arm with his hands.
Kee asked the woman to move away from Rajendran, but he continued to follow the woman and “behaved in a rowdy manner” in the place of worship, according to court documents, the CNA reported.
Another man, 49-year-old financial controller Gladiston Joseph, came forward to intervene and noticed that Rajendran smelled strongly of alcohol.
After he suddenly slapped Gladiston, Rajendran was pinned down but later released and told to behave himself.
Gladiston asked a priest to call for police assistance and a message was sent to the authorities stating that a drunkard had gone into the church and “started groping ladies”.
Rajendran then jumped into Rochor Canal near the church in an attempt to flee.
A police officer jumped into the water and caught him, in a sequence that was captured on video and went viral on WhatsApp.
He was arrested and escorted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department but behaved aggressively and was uncooperative.
Rajendran cursed at the two officers escorting him, showing his middle finger and uttering vulgarities, the report said.
Rajendran pleaded guilty to one charge of conducting himself in an annoying manner while drunk and another of using abusive words towards a police officer. A third charge was taken into consideration.
The penalty for a person who conducts himself in an annoying manner while drunk is a jail term of to six months, a maximum fine of SGD1,000 or both.
For the charges under the Protection from Harassment Act, Rajendran could have been jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum of SGD5,000 or both.