In court today (18 Oct), Indian national Ravichandran Vignesh pleaded guilty to one count of molest and was sentenced to jail for six months.
On an SQ flight on 1 Oct, Ravichandran saw a woman asleep at a window seat and decided to proceed to touch her breast. He was sitting next to her.
The SQ flight was bound for Bali coming from Bengaluru, India but transitting through Singapore.
The woman was awakened to a sensation of someone pressing her breast. She was startled to see the hand of a man landing on her right breast.
Shocked and outraged, the woman shouted at Ravinchandran, who removed his hand and pretended to sleep. The woman then requested for a change of seats, and the cabin crew moved her to an empty seat at the back.
The woman later sent feedback via SIA’s online form detailing the incident. She lodged a police report with the Airport Police Division in Singapore the next day.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran had proceeded to Bali for his holidays.
However, the Singapore Police managed to trace Ravichandran and arrested him upon his transit through Singapore from Bali on 4 October in his returned flight back to India.
In court, Ravichandran admitted that he pressed on the woman’s breast while she was sleeping as he was “drunk and high and tempted” to do so.
In mitigation, Ravichandran, who owns a pet shop in India, said it was his first time taking a flight.
"I do not know the laws of Singapore. I have not done this back home in India before," Ravichandran said, adding that he came from a poor family in India.
"I will not touch any woman again. I will not travel overseas again. I will not come back to Singapore again," said Ravichandran, who pleaded to return to India and promised not to reoffend.
Ravichandran could have been jailed up to two years or caned for molestation. However, he was sentenced to six months' jail.