SINGAPORE: A 42-year-old Malaysian man went on trial on Tuesday (Mar 19) on allegations that he raped his ex-girlfriend after strangling and slapping her.
He faces a single charge of raping the woman - a 30-year-old Malaysian - on Aug 6, 2017, and has claimed trial.
The man and the woman cannot be named due to a court order.
In her opening address on the first day of the trial on Tuesday , Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon said that the couple were in a romantic relationship for about five years, but had broken up some time before the offence took place.
After entering a relationship in 2012, the couple rented a flat and lived together. However, in 2017, after the man was retrenched, the relationship soured and they broke up.
He returned to Malaysia, but would visit Singapore to look for work. On those occasions, he would stay over in the flat, although in a separate room.
In the lead-up to the alleged rape, the victim had stayed away from her rented flat, and was at her aunt’s place for two days. She had wanted to avoid her ex-boyfriend, and spend time with her parents, who were visiting Singapore, the High Court heard.
When she returned home, he asked for reconciliation.
“When she proved non-receptive, the accused grew violent,” Ms Poon said.
At the time, he was also "upset" as the victim had informed him that she planned to terminate the lease on the flat and move out by the end of the month.
HE TORE OFF HER CLOTHES AND STRANGLED HER
In her bedroom, he tore off her clothes, slapped her, and forcibly pushed her onto her bed, even as she shouted for help, the High Court heard.
“He pinned her down onto the bed by her wrists. When she struggled and shouted, the accused strangled and threatened her,” Ms Poon said.
She was in a lot of pain from the strangulation, could not breathe and grew faint, the court heard.
He then stopped strangling her and raped her.
She later felt severe abdominal pain, and convinced the man to bring her to a nearby clinic.
There, she sought help from Dr Jason Tan Kim Loong and the nurse present, Ms Foo Siying.
The man fled the scene after Ms Foo called the police.
EVIDENCE FROM DOCTORS, FORENSIC SCIENTISTS TO BE PRODUCED
Ms Poon said that Dr Tan and Ms Foo will provide evidence on the victim’s demeanour at the clinic and her injuries. The first responding officers will likewise testify to their observations of the victim’s distress at the clinic, she said.
Photographs taken of the victim’s injuries on the day of the incident will be produced for the trial.
Ms Poon also said the victim's injuries were still visible when she was seen three days after the incident by Dr Chuah Theng Theng at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
During the trial, a senior forensic scientist with the Health Sciences Authority will testify on the force used to tear off the victim's clothes.
Text messages from the accused to the victim after he fled from the clinic and in the days until his arrest will also be presented in court.
“These messages bear eloquent testament to the degree of the accused’s panic as he sought to escape culpability for his heinous act,” Ms Poon said.
The prosecution, represented by Ms Poon, Deputy Public Prosecutors David Khoo and Selene Yap, is expected to produce 29 witnesses during the trial.
The victim was the first witness to take the stand on Tuesday and testified in camera, as in done in sensitive cases with vulnerable victims.
If convicted of rape, the man faces 20 years in jail and a fine.