A Chinese national, who entered his co-tenant's room while she was asleep and molested her, was sentenced to seven months' jail on Wednesday (June 22).
Zhang Tao, 27, a student, admitted to stroking the 28-year-old woman's inner thigh and vulva with his fingers in the master bedroom at an apartment block in Geylang at about 4.20am on April 25.
A second charge of criminal trespass was taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen told the court that at about 3.20am that day, the woman and her husband, both from China, returned to their rented bedroom after supper.
As the woman's husband, aged 27, was unable to sleep, he decided to go out for a drink nearby. The woman, who was clad in a T-shirt and panties, went to sleep. Her bedroom door was closed but not locked.
At about 4.20am, she woke up when she felt someone stroking her. She opened her eyes and saw Zhang squatting at the edge of her bed. She recognised him as a tenant in the same unit.
She asked what he was doing in her room but he kept quiet. She then told him to leave and called her husband.
Her husband returned and confronted Zhang and called the police.
DPP Chong said Zhang revealed that he had become aroused when he heard another tenant having sex. He thus developed the urge to touch the victim as he knew that she was asleep alone.
Zhang's lawyer Teo Choo Kee said in mitigation that his client had been studying here for the past four years. He said Zhang was feeling lonely and not in full control of his senses or impulses, and succumbed to a moment of weakness .
He said the offence was out of character and that Zhang was genuinely remorseful.
He said his client did not resist when he took a few blows from the complainant as he knew that he was wrong and deserved a beating.
Zhang, whose sentence was backdated to April 26, could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received a combined punishment.