The Magistrate’s Court yesterday sentenced a 43-year-old local to a year’s jail with one whipping on convicting him of molesting a 21-year-old female colleague at a phone accessories store in Seria, Belait District.
The defendant was found guilty following a trial on the charge of assaulting the victim to outrage her modesty.
DPP Nurul Fitri Kiprawi’s evidence in court revealed that on the morning of April 21, 2022, the victim and the defendant were working the same shifts at the store.
The defendant approached the victim seated at the counter and asked her about some cables.
When the victim stood up from her seat to help the defendant, he told her to go back to her seat. He suddenly walked up to her and grabbed her forehead in an attempt to kiss her twice.
The victim avoided his moves and scolded him, but the defendant poked her in the abdomen and left the store.
The prosecution also produced CCTV footage in evidence showing the defendant’s actions.
The court accepted that the victim’s testimony was in line with the defendant’s admissions in a police statement where the defendant himself admitted that he had gone out to drink alcohol shortly before committing the offence.
Evidence further unearthed that the defendant returned to the store and tried to kiss the victim’s forehead, and this time, claimed by the defendant, just as a joke.
The court disbelieved the defendant’s defence in trial that he was drunk and did not realise his actions during the incident which was contradictory to the victim’s testimony and the defendant’s earlier statement to the police.
Based on the whole circumstances, the court found that the prosecution has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted the defendant of the charge.
Senior Magistrate Dewi Norlelawati binti Haji Abdul Hamid presided over the case.