Public Prosecutor v Elangovan s/o Raju

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeGilbert Low Teik Seang
Judgment Date15 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 6
Citation[2001] SGMC 6
Publication Date19 September 2003

JUDGMENT:

Grounds of Decision

1. The accused claimed trial to the following charge in MAC 4150/2000 (P1):

"You,

Elangovan s/o Raju M/40 yrs
NRIC No: S1343081J
D.O.B.: 2.11.1959
Singaporean Citizen

are charged that you on or about the 17th day of February 2000 at or about 2.17 am at a coffeeshop located at Blk 505 West Coast Drive, Singapore, intending to insult the modesty of one Low Gim Nee F/45 yrs, exposed your private parts in front of her and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 509 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224."

PROSECUTION'S CASE

2. In the early hours of 17 February 2000 at about 2.17 am, the complainant, Miss Low Gim Nee, was sitting at a coffee-shop table at Block 505 West Coast Drive Singapore with her companion, Lim Ah Leh ("PW3") when she saw the accused, an Indian man, exposing his penis at his table which was about 1 metre away from hers. Before that, the complainant alleged that the accused was behaving in a weird manner and kept looking at her. As PW3 was blocking her view of the accused, the complainant asked PW3 to shift aside to let her have a good look at the latter. The accused continuously looked at her and she ignored him. When she turned around to have a look at him again, she saw him exposing his penis. As it was dark, the complainant took a second look at the accused to confirm what she saw. According to her, the accused was placing both his hands on his thighs and exposing his penis. He was also caressing his abdomen.

3. Under cross-examination, the complainant conceded that the two occasions when she saw the accused exposing his penis amounted to a few seconds each, with the first being a fleeting glance and the second being slightly longer. She accordingly informed PW3 about what she saw and PW3 agreed with her that she should call the police. At no time did PW3, whose back was facing the accused, turn around to look at the accused at all. (In his evidence throughout, PW3 did not witness the accused exposing his penis). The complainant then stood up, walked a distance away and called the police using her handphone. Whilst doing so, she kept attention on what the accused was doing to make sure that he did not go away. From her observation at that moment, the accused stood up, walked towards the road and tried to call a taxi. Upon failing to get a taxi, he then returned to the coffee-shop and made a phone call on his handphone. Following from the complainant's phone call, the police subsequently arrived and arrested the accused who was sitting at his table.

4. According to PW3, when the complainant told him that the accused had showed her his penis, he did not turn around to see because he had already advised her to call the police and there was no need for him to turn around to see the accused. PW3 also testified that when the complainant left the table to make the phone call to the police, the accused, from his table, shouted at him to borrow his lighter. PW3 ignored him. The accused then came over to his table to borrow his lighter. At this point, PW3 lent it to him. As PW3 did not witness the accused exposing his penis, the prosecution's case solely rested on what the complainant saw.

DEFENCE'S CASE

5. The accused denied exposing his penis to the complainant at the material time, both in his testimony in Court and in his statement recorded pursuant to section 122(6) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Exhibit B). In the evening of 16 February 2000, he had some drinks with his friends at a coffee-shop in Jurong East. At midnight, they then proceeded to a hawker centre near Block 505 West Coast Drive for some more drinks. The group parted ways at about 1:30 am (in the early hours of 17 February 2000) and the accused proceeded to the coffee-shop at Block 505 West Coast Drive, which was near the main road. The reason being that he wanted to look out for a taxi and have a drink at the same time. After buying himself a drink, he went towards the table which was closest to the road to scout for any approaching taxi.

6. Whilst at the table, he received some calls on his handphone from his friend regarding some money matters. After the calls, he approached PW3 who was sitting at the table to his left and asked PW3 to lend him his lighter, which PW3 did. At that time, the complainant was not at the table with PW3. (It was the accused's testimony that he did not notice the...

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