SINGAPORE — A man who sexually tortured his girlfriend after she purportedly stole some items belonging to him was jailed for 13 years, seven months and 92 days on Monday (4 October).
In addition to his jail time, the 32-year-old unemployed man was sentenced to 12 strokes of the cane.
The accused and his cousin, a 33-year-old man working as a packer, had rained physical abuse on the victim, then 27, until she agreed to pay them compensation for the allegedly stolen items, among them a power bank and an e-scooter.
The accused then threatened to beat his girlfriend until she agreed to the sexual torture, which was to insert two objects – a whiteboard marker and a cylindrical battery – into her private parts. The battery was lodged inside and could only be removed by medical personnel later on.
The 32-year-old man pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration and in order to facilitate the offence, putting the victim in fear of death. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal intimidation on his uncle in an unrelated incident. Another eight charges, including molest, wrongful confinement and causing hurt, were taken into consideration for sentencing.
The accused man had earlier been released from jail and was on remission order for violence against an ex-girlfriend, who died from the vicious assault in 2016. The period of the man's remission order was factored into his jail sentence.
Thrashed the victim over alleged theft
The man, his cousin and the victim cannot be named to protect her identity. All three shared a flat with the accused’s mother in the west of Singapore during the period of the offences against her, which were in November 2018.
The man accused her of stealing several of his belongings on the morning of 19 November 2018. The accused and his cousin then slapped and kicked the woman before pulling her down onto the ground by her shirt.
The accused caused lacerations on her head with his watch while the manhandling caused her shirt to tear, revealing her bra. They then kicked her stomach and slapped her until the woman agreed to make compensation with $300 in her bank account. The three then went into the bedroom, ostensibly so that the two men could clean the blood off her face. However, the accused then cut the woman’s hair with a pair of scissors.
The accused then threatened to beat the woman to death, unless she inserted some items into her body. He had wanted to punish her for the alleged theft.
Fearful, the woman complied and the man sexually tortured her while his cousin sat on the bed and watched. When the woman complained of intense pain, the accused told her to remove the items. However, she was unable to remove the battery.
The men then passed her some face powder and lipstick, along with a jacket and head scarf to cover her injuries.
On 19 November 2018, the two men accompanied the woman to a bank branch so that the woman could withdraw money as compensation.
When the two men discovered that the victim’s back account was empty, they continued a barrage of blows on the victim at a nearby bus stop. The two also forcibly removed her jacket, exposing her bra.
The woman screamed for help and another woman, who passed by in a car with her husband, asked him to sound the horn at the group while she called the police. Police who responded to the incident later arrested the two men.
The victim was conveyed to the hospital where she was treated for lacerations and bruises. The battery was removed from her body. She was then hospitalised for four days.
'Adjustment disorder': Defence lawyer
The accused was on a remission order from 26 March to 23 December 2018 after having been released from prison for voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation and failing to report a death. This offence involved the accused brutally assaulting his then-girlfriend, who eventually died.
On the night of 15 September 2016, the accused, angry with his then-girlfriend punched her body, and struck her with a belt and hangers for some two hours.
The victim's physical condition deteriorated after the attack but the accused did not seek medical attention for her, for fear of being found out. The victim died some 40 minutes after the beating but her body was not found until 22 September 2016, in an advanced state of decomposition.
The prosecution submitted for a jail term of 13 years, eight months and 12 strokes for the accused while his lawyer Vigneesh Nainar sought twelve-and-a-half years’ jail and the same cane strokes for his client.
Vigneesh said his client had adjustment disorder after trying to adapt to life after prison.
In sentencing the accused, Justice Dedar Singh Gill noted the similarities in the present case to the man’s 2016 offence.
This showed the accused’s callous attitude towards the suffering of the victim, similar to the present charge, said the judge.
“It is my hope that this sentence will cause the accused to reflect and adopt a straight path, a path where he does not resort to violence when angry. A path which does not cause harm and misery to people in his life and to himself,” said the judge.
The accused man's cousin was previously jailed for 12 months for his role in this incident.
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