An Indian-origin homeless man in Singapore has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman. District Judge Carol Ling also punished Thiruchelvam Maniam, 40, with three strokes of the cane on Monday after he pleaded guilty in the case, the Straits Times reported.
The incident took place on April 20, 2018. Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana said that Maniam spotted a couple in an inebriated situation sleeping on a bench at a public bus stop. He moved the woman to another bench at the same bus stop and sexually assaulted her.
Maniam ran away when the 30-year-old woman woke up and called the police. He was arrested later. Bopanna told the judge that due to intoxication, the pair decided to rest on a bench at a bus stop where they both fell asleep and Maniam spotted the couple as he was walking past, reported the daily.
"He paced around the bus stop for approximately 30 minutes while avoiding being seen by passers-by. "After ensuring that no one was around, the accused then picked up the victim and moved her to another bench at the same bus stop, away from her boyfriend," Bopanna added.
Urging the judge to give Maniam at least seven years in jail with three strokes of the cane, Bopanna said he had "taken advantage of the victim who was in a vulnerable state due to intoxication".
Defence lawyer Michael Chang, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, told the court that his client was "remorseful and ashamed" of his actions.
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