A 33-year-old Bangladeshi man was jailed for nine months and ordered to receive three strokes of the cane by a Singapore court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to one count of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a 35-year-old Indonesian woman at a HDB block in May last year.

The defendant, named Muzammel Md, was a cleaner who worked at the state housing block on Jelapang Road in Bukit Panjang, where the victim – a domestic worker – also resided, Shin Min Daily News reported.

At 9pm on May 26, 2016, the 35-year-old maid went out to post a letter for her employer at a nearby postbox, the court heard.

The defendant was said to have been attracted by the victim’s beauty and had fallen in love with her at first sight, prompting him to make friends with her and asking for her phone number.

The victim rejected him right away, declaring that she did not own a mobile phone. She continued heading back home but was aware that the man was following her.

In a bid to get away from the man, she climbed up the stairs to the third floor of her block. She then thought it was safe to take a lift, figuring he should have left by then.

But the man was close by and squeezed into the lift before the doors shut. He pressed the victim against the wall, held her right hand tightly and grabbed her shirt and left breast.

When the lift reached the fifth floor, the door opened and the victim cried out loudly for help, which caused the man to flee down the staircase.

According to a report by Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore), the son of the maid’s employer learnt about the incident and started to chase the suspect, with help from the frightened maid. The pair located the defendant at a nearby refuse collection point.

The man begged for mercy but the employer insisted on calling the police to have him arrested.

Read: Bangladeshi man jailed, to be caned after molesting maid