Security officer fined for putting hand sanitiser in colleague's water

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
personal hygiene. people washing hand by hand sanitizer alcohol gel for cleaning and disinfection, prevention of spreading of germs during infections of COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak situation
A person using a hand sanitiser bottle. FILE PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A security officer who wanted to “sanitise” a colleague’s mouth squirted hand sanitiser into her water bottle while inside a condominium guard house.

Dilip Kumar Gobind, 49, was fined $4,500 on Thursday (23 September) on one count of committing a rash act with a harmful substance likely to have caused hurt to his 54-year-old female colleague, who was also a security officer.

On 12 April last year, Dilip began his night shift at the condominium at about 8pm. At about 3am the next day, while still on his shift, he decided to play a prank on his colleague. According to Dilip, he was unhappy towards his colleague as she liked to gossip about others.

Knowing that a water bottle in the guard house belonged to her, Dilip squirted at least two pumps of hand sanitiser into the bottle, which was half filled with water. He then placed the bottle in its original spot.

"He had squirted the hand sanitiser into her bottle as he wanted to 'sanitiser (sic) her mouth' as a joke,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua said.

At about 10.15am, while the colleague was on duty, she took a drink from her water bottle and tasted hand sanitiser.

She spat out the water and felt pain in her throat. She informed an operations officer at the condominium about her experience and the latter reviewed the CCTV footage of the guard house area.

The operations officer informed the woman that Dilip had put hand sanitiser into her water bottle. The woman filed a police report on 15 April.

The pump bottle of hand sanitiser which Dilip had used and a five-litre container of hand sanitiser which was used to fill the pump bottle were sent to the Health Sciences Authority for analysis.

A chemical composition report dated 25 August 2020 from the HSA concluded that the liquids from the pump bottle and the five-litre container could have originated from the same source or other sources with similar chemical compositions.

The report prepared by a clinical toxicologist from Changi General Hospital stated that if ingested, hand sanitiser may irritate or damage the throat, gullet and stomach.

It noted that the degree of injury depends on the concentration of the chemicals and the amount ingested. With a diluted solution, a victim might experience the irritation as “pain’”, but would unlikely have a serious injury.

The victim did not seek medical attention.

In mitigation, Dilip told the court that he regretted his actions and needed to care for his mother, who is 83 years old.

“If I were to be in jail, no one will take care of her. Please be lenient to me and on my part this will never ever happen again,” he said.

He has since left his job and called his colleague to apologise. However, she said “I don’t wish to speak to you” and put down his call, he said. 

Dilip had previously been convicted of cheating, criminal breach of trust in 2001, when he was fined $11,000 and for illegally wearing an outfit of an army serviceman in 2011, for which he was fined $800. 

District Judge Janet Wang said that while a jail term was not warranted in Dilip’s case, there had been a considerable breach of trust by a co-worker working in the same place.

His wrongdoing was also contrary to the code of conduct for a security guard, she added.

Dilip could have been jailed up to a year, and/or fined up to $5,000, for committing a rash act with a harmful substance to cause hurt to another person.

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