SINGAPORE, Dec 7 — In just over an hour, the managing director of a horse-racing company molested two women at different bars along Boat Quay.
Wade James Burridge was yesterday sentenced to 11 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane, but will be appealing.
He was convicted of two counts of outrage of modesty on October 25 after a six-day trial.
His victims cannot be named due to a court order.
In sentencing Burridge, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said his actions were not accidental, but deliberate.
The court heard that the 33-year-old Australian was at Mogambo bar at Canton Street at around 11pm on October 8, 2015, when he touched the private parts of a 46-year-old events consultant from under her skirt.
She had testified in court that she felt a hand on her left hip as Burridge walked behind her.
His hands then went up her skirt’s slit, and towards her private parts.
She turned around quickly and hit Burridge as “he had violated her personal space and parts”.
The bar’s general manager was informed, and a police report was made.
About an hour later at around midnight on October 9, 2015, Burridge made his way to a second bar along North Canal Road and molested the second woman.
The woman, a 33-year-old Australian, was there with her friends.
Burridge was seated behind her and kept knocking on her chair.
She testified that around 10 to 15 minutes later, she felt his hands grabbing her waist.
He then slid his right hand into her shorts and squeezed her right buttock.
She snapped, grabbed him by the collar, pulled him to the side of the table and wanted to punch him.
She then let him go and he walked away.
A police report was made thereafter.
Deputy public prosecutor N K Anitha urged the court to impose a jail term of 11.5 months, together with three strokes of the cane. It was “patently clear” Burridge himself had created opportunities to molest the women — such as by falling.
He was “undeterred” after his first offence and persisted in his second, she added.
“It appears that he was emboldened by the fact that he was not detained or referred to the police immediately after the incident at the first bar,” she said.
Burridge’s lawyer Shashi Nathan asked for a jail term of between five and six months, saying his client had been drinking heavily and was intoxicated on both occasions.
“These offences are totally out of character”, said Nathan, urging the court to depart from the “usual benchmark” of nine months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.
The maximum penalty for outrage of modesty is two years’ jail, fine and caning. Burridge is out on bail of S$40,000 pending his appeal. — TODAY