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Aussie gets jail for squeezing woman’s breastELENA CHONG03 July 2012When a project they were working on was close to completion, five people celebrated with a dinner at a restaurant.Among them was a 38-year-old woman who, after the meal, shook Paul Joseph Smith’s hand. That was when she felt her breast being squeezed twice.Though she did not see him do it, the woman shouted at Smith, an Australian, and pinched him hard on the chest.She even tried to knee him in the incident in September last year.Yesterday, the 55-year-old was sentenced to 18 weeks’ jail after he was found guilty of molesting her at the farewell party.Smith, a test manager at a foreign bank then, had claimed trial to squeezing her breast outside a restaurant in Mohamed Sultan Road on Sept 3.He is appealing against both conviction and sentence. Bail of $10,000 was allowed, pending the appeal.He was found guilty last week after a four-day trial in April and May.The court heard that the victim, now an IT consultant, was very sure it was Smith who had molested her as the distance between them was just an arm’s length.She said she stared at him throughout the confrontation.He was very calm and said nothing to her.Smith said in his defence that the contact with the side of the victim’s breast was accidental.He also said ‘oops, sorry” and laughed, he added.But the victim maintained that he did not apologise or laugh during the incident.Urging the court for a lenient sentence, Mr Paul said there were no aggravating factors in this case.Smith could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or receive any combination of sentences.
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