Jail, fine and caning for man who touched maid's breasts while family was away on holiday

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Oct 2, 2019

A watch manager of air traffic control at Changi Airport who had molested his domestic helper was sentenced on Wednesday (Oct 2) to 11 months' jail, a fine of $5,000 and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane.

While his family members were away on holiday, Stanley Cheng Kim Han placed his head on the 23-year-old Myanmar national's right shoulder on Nov 28, 2016.

The next day, he hugged the woman from behind and used the fingers of his left hand to touch her right breast over her clothes.

On Aug 7, District Judge Edgar Foo found the 44-year-old father of two guilty of two molestation charges after a 10-day trial.

In sentencing the Singaporean on Wednesday, Judge Foo said Cheng had abused his position when he was alone in his flat with the maid.

The judge also said that there was "an escalation" in the offences and the woman was "traumatised" after Cheng molested her for the second time.

Cheng's former lawyer, Mr T.M. Sinnadurai, was also discharged on Wednesday and he is now represented by Mr Gino Hardial Singh.

Cheng, who has been employed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for more than 20 years, intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

He was offered bail of $20,000.

The maid, who cannot be named due to a gag order, started working in Cheng's Bedok Reservoir flat on Sept 22, 2016.

The court heard that this was the first time she had left her village to work overseas.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu had said in his submissions that Cheng, who was the maid's registered employer, had a habit of brushing against or touching the woman when he walked past.

The DPP added that the nature of these contacts were "brief and innocent", such that the maid did not have any cause to be concerned.

Cheng and the maid were left alone in the flat after his wife, two children and parents-in-law flew to China for their holiday at around 3am on Nov 27, 2016.

He molested her inside a bedroom the next day by placing his head on her right shoulder.

He struck again at around 5.40pm on Nov 29, 2016, when he hugged her from behind in the master bedroom toilet and touched her right breast.

He later left the flat and that same day, she told her trainer at the maid agency about what had happened.

A CAAS spokesman had earlier said the authority suspended Cheng after he was charged in court in July 2017.

For each count of molestation, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.