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Man who raped mother to be caned, jailed for 16 years

SINGAPORE — A 34-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane on Wednesday (March 14), after a High Court judge found him guilty of raping and molesting his mother.

SINGAPORE — A 34-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane on Wednesday (March 14), after a High Court judge found him guilty of raping and molesting his mother.

In convicting the man, who cannot be named to protect his mother’s identity, Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock said that the case raised “two disturbing questions”: If a mother would falsely accuse her biological son of raping her, and if a son would rape his mother.

The man faced one charge each of rape, aggravated molest, and molest, in an incident that took place on Oct 4, 2013, in the one-room flat that they shared. His mother was 53 then.

The son had contested all the charges, claiming during the 18-day trial between 2016 and 2017 that his mother and stepfather had plotted to accuse him of rape to “get rid of him”.

A former safety coordinator, he is the second of three sons from the woman’s previous marriage.

The court was told during the trial that he was invited to live with his mother and stepfather five months before the rape, because he had no place of his own.

On the day of the offence, he returned home in the wee hours of the night and sexually assaulted his mother. He molested her and then raped her twice.

PHONE CALL

After the incident, the woman left for her daughter-in-law’s home and called the son. She recorded their conversation with another mobile phone.

In the recording, which was played during the trial, the mother was heard saying while crying: “You disturbed me like this, how am I going to look at your face anymore?” She told the court that she meant “raped” when she used the word “disturbed”, or “kacau” in Malay.

During the phone conversation, the son said that what happened was “between us” and he would “want (it) again”.

His mother replied to say that she was “really shocked” and could not understand why he did what he did.

The phone recording, the prosecution argued, was clear proof that the man had forced himself on his mother.

The son, who had past convictions for drug-related offences, burglary and robbery, testified that he merely lifted his mother’s nightgown because he wanted to look at her private parts.

There was no DNA samples at the scene, and the mother did not suffer any injuries, his lawyers pointed out.

The prosecution, led by Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz and Sruthi Boppana, charged that the man’s defence was “a belated concoction” that was a “deliberate attempt to explain away the damning contents of the (phone) conversation”.

“He has been demonstrably economical with the truth,” DPP Shamila said.

‘PREPOSTEROUS SUBMISSION’

During the hearing on Wednesday, DPP Sharmila strongly rebuked the points raised by the defence — led by Senior Counsel Harry Elias — that the woman could have “shut the gates” and prevented the rape by crossing her legs.

“This preposterous submission is premised on the antediluvian notion that a woman can resist a rapist if she really wants to. There is no absolutely no room for such statements in the 21st century, in this court and outside of it,” she said.

“From the get-go, the defence embarked on a deliberate path to tarnish the victim’s reputation as a woman and mother.

“After enduring a sexual assault at the hands of her son, the victim was assaulted at trial by scandalous questions designed to attack her,” she added.

Urging the court to impose a sentence of 18 years’ jail and 19 strokes of the cane, the prosecution said that the son should be given a punishment that corresponds with his “heinous acts”.

“There are no winners in this case — not least the victim who will forever carry the indescribable humiliation, betrayal and hurt so callously inflicted on her by her son… and again in court,” they said.

At the trial, a psychiatrist testified that the woman, now 58, suffered from acute stress disorder as a result of the sexual assaults.

DPP Sharmila said: “For all the vastness of the English language, there is simply no word that comes even remotely close to capturing the horror that would have washed over the victim as she was cruelly and relentlessly sexually assaulted by the very son she gave life to 30 years earlier.”

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