causing her to feel "angry, uncomfortable and very disgusted".
Indian national Vijayan Mathan Gopal, aged 39, was found guilty on August 5, 2019, of molesting an air stewardess during a flight to Singapore.
The court heard he groped her buttock, placed his hand on her thigh and cupped her face with his hands.
It is believed that Gopal was intoxicated when he boarded the flight in Cochin, India.
Gopal, who resides in Singapore, committed the offences on November 2, 2017.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said that commercial air travel involves passengers “packed into a confined space for a period of time” with “no ready means of escape and immediate assistance from law enforcement is practically impossible”.
She said: “This was the very predicament the victim, an air stewardess found herself (in) when she was molested by the accused while working.”
Shortly after taking off, Gopal argued with another crew member after refusing to pay for his food.
DPP Lim explained that it was the airline’s policy to collect payments before heating up a passenger’s order.
The stewardess intervened to defuse the situation and agreed to serve Gopal. She later went to attend to another passenger who was feeling ill.
Despite this, Gopal repeatedly demanded her attention by pressing the call light.
Her colleague approached Gopal but he insisted on talking to “that female steward”.
DPP Lim explained: “According to the victim, the situation was ‘very urgent’ because there was a medical emergency that required her to page for medical assistance and a drunk passenger that required her attention.
“After a nurse came forward to assist in the medical emergency, the victim attended to the accused.
“She knelt down to be at his eye level, placed her arm on the arm rest and told the accused firmly not to press the call light again.”
The court heard that Gopal then asked the stewardess where she lived and told her: “You are so beautiful.”
He then cupped her face with both hands, causing her to feel “angry, uncomfortable and very disgusted”.
The air stewardess did not push him away and instead leaned away from him.
Gopal told her: “Do not throw your anger at me… I’m the boss of the flight.”
When she stood up, he grabbed her thigh “with strong force” and touched her buttock before she walked away.
The stewardess reported the incident to the pilot and asked him to alert the police. She later submitted an official report to Scoot Airline.
Ramesh Selvaraj and Nicholas Kam, represented Gopal during the trial. Gopal denied touching the woman inappropriately.
He claimed that she made the story up in an attempt to stop him from making a complaint against her colleague for providing him with “poor service”.
However, he was found guilty of three molestation charges. He was released on bail after $5,000 was paid and will be sentenced on August 28, 2019.
According to News Info, he can be jailed for up to two years for each count of molestation.