SINGAPORE — A district judge chastised a businessman who molested a private nurse he had hired to look after his cancer-stricken wife as he imposed a sentence of seven months’ jail and three strokes of caning on Friday (Oct 13).
Describing Indian national Pillai Shyam Kumar Sadashivan’s actions as “abhorrent and repugnant”, District Judge Mathew Joseph said: “The victim was a professional nurse looking after your sick wife ... (not to) provide non-nursing services, contrary to what you expected. This is Singapore. We have different standards here.”
Sadashivan, 47, a managing director of a steel trading firm based in Dubai, was convicted in August of one count of using criminal force to molest the nurse and another count of insulting her modesty. The 25-year-old victim cannot be named to protect her identity.
The court was told that Sadashivan and his wife came to Singapore in August last year to seek medical help for her condition. The couple have two children aged 12 and 10.
They hired the nurse from Dec 11 to Dec 16 last year to take care of the wife, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. The nurse’s job scope include monitoring his wife’s vital signs as well as cleaning and feeding her at their rented apartment.
On her fourth day of employment, Sadashivan lamented to the nurse that he had not had sex with his wife in recent months because of her illness. He also told the victim that “girls in Dubai provide extra services” and asked if it were the case here.
When she rejected his request to pull up her top, Sadashivan shoved his hand under her clothes to grope her against her will. He also stroked her thighs.
At that time, Sadashivan’s wife was asleep in her bedroom with the door closed.
Despite the incident, the victim returned to care for Sadashivan’s wife the following day. She only lodged a police report on Dec 16.
On Friday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong sought seven months’ imprisonment and three stroke of the cane, noting that the victim was in a “particularly vulnerable position” as she was in a stranger’s house. Sadashivan had also abused the employment relationship, and proceeded to use force to commit the acts even though the nurse had rejected his advances, she added.
Pleading for leniency, defence lawyer Mathew Kurian said his client was remorseful and that a medical examination showed him to be suffering from severe depression, diabetes and high blood pressure. Sadashivan’s wife, who is paralysed after suffering a stroke, is also fully dependent on him, the lawyer added.
Sadashivan, who is out on a S$15,000 bail, will start serving his sentence on Oct 16.
For molesting, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned. For insulting her modesty, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined.