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The Straits Times
Jan 17, 2022
A stewardess was attending to a passenger when her senior - the highest-ranking cabin crew member on board the flight - smacked her on the right buttock.
The court heard that the woman did not confront him immediately as she was shocked and did not know what to do. She later went to the galley and told the leading steward about what the man had done.
On Monday (Jan 17), District Judge Ng Peng Hong found the 50-year-old offender guilty of a molestation charge after the trial.
Details of the man, the woman and the carrier cannot be disclosed owing to a gag order to protect her identity.
He committed the offence while they were on board a turnaround flight from Singapore to Manila in May 2019. She was reporting directly to him.
In his submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Wei Liang said 30 minutes before the plane landed in the Philippines, the captain made an announcement for the cabin crew to prepare for landing.
The woman was attending to a business class passenger at the time.
During the trial, she testified that she was standing with her "knees slightly bent, upper body slightly leaning forward... (and) perhaps, tilted a bit towards the chair".
The DPP added: "The victim recounted that as she was attending to the passenger and standing in the manner described, she felt a 'smack' on her right buttock, and her body 'jolted up' in reaction to the contact.
"She testified that she described the contact as a 'smack' due to the 'severity of the contact', which was 'hard and surprising'."
The woman then saw the man walking past her on her left and there was no one else behind her.
The man turned around, looked at her and commented on the way she was standing.
The woman had earlier told the court that the man delivered his words in a "cheeky or playful manner".
She told the leading steward what had happened and the court heard that the offender later apologised to her.
The plane landed in Singapore after the turnaround flight, and she lodged a police report on May 5, 2019.
During the trial, the offender denied touching or slapping her buttock .
He had claimed to have only "tapped" the victim when he saw that she was leaning against a seat and her buttocks were "protruding" into the aisle.
The DPP said: "He described the victim's posture as 'provocative' and claimed to have touched the victim to correct her posture."
The man is expected to be sentenced in March.