SINGAPORE — The trial of a 49-year-old Singaporean man accused of raping two teenage girls began on Tuesday (14 January), following his multiple attempts to delay court proceedings by urinating and defecating in court.
When Isham Kayubi first appeared in the High Court before Justice See Kee Oon last August, he exposed his penis and urinated while in the dock. The judge later ordered the accused man – who also responded with “I don’t know” to the charges read against him – to be remanded and assessed at the Institute of Mental Health. Isham was found to be of sound mind.
During his second court appearance on Tuesday, Isham again delayed court proceedings by defecating in his prison attire. Efforts were made to clean him up and he returned to court more than an hour later. Prison officers wearing surgical masks and gloves were observed setting a plastic sheet over the chair for the handcuffed Isham.
While the prosecution was interviewing its first witness, Isham again disrupted proceedings when he wiped his faeces on the dock’s glass panel, leading him to be restrained by a prison officer. The accused’s shirtfront was also seen smeared with faeces and the court interpreter was given a face mask before the session resumed.
Justice See suggested that Isham change out of his clothes when the session stood down for lunch. The judge also warned the accused over his malingering behaviour, noting that his psychiatrist had deemed Isham fit to make his plea.
“I wish to warn you to behave yourself appropriately, in the event that it is confirmed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you – whether physically or mentally... I will have to take all this into account as well,” said Justice See.
Isham, who allegedly raped and filmed the then 14-year-old victims in 2017, stayed silent and with his head bowed when asked to plead to his charges. He is claiming trial to four counts of rape and two of sexual assault by penetration.
Another two charges relating to the possession of 37 obscene films and one charge of possessing a pocket knife without authority will be dealt with at a later stage. Both victims in the case, who are unrelated, cannot be named to protect their identities.
‘Heinous sexual offences’: prosecution
Opening the prosecution’s case, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said Isham had “committed a series of heinous sexual offences against (the two girls) within a short span of time”.
In September 2017, Isham texted the first girl claiming that he had seen her at a birthday party. Isham had obtained her number after a friend used his phone to call the girl.
On 15 October 2017, he offered the victim $150 to clean his house and the girl agreed. He brought her to his house where he then raped and sexually assaulted her.
He threatened to call his gang members if she refused. After the act, he gave her a lift home and also presented her with a motorcycle helmet and a bluetooth earpiece worth $20.
Offences against second victim
Isham allegedly raped the second victim on 29 October and 3 November 2017. According to the prosecution, she had met Isham for the first time on 29 October at the void deck of her then-boyfriend’s flat.
During the meeting Isham told her that he was from the “Black Pirate” gang. He asked her if she could help to take care of his flat in exchange for a new mobile phone and the girl agreed.
After they reached the flat, however, Isham raped her twice and forced her to perform a sexual act on him. He threatened to call his gang to rape her if she refused. Isham also recorded videos of the sexual assaults and threatened to circulate the videos if she revealed what had happened.
Following the assaults, Isham sent the girl home on his motorcycle and gave her $20.
Isham again lured the same girl to his house again on 2 November 2017. He had earlier approached her claiming that he wanted to talk about what she had been telling people regarding their previous encounter.
After chatting at a coffeeshop, the girl follow Isham to his house where he raped her again while making the same threats. Isham was arrested on 3 November following efforts by the second victim’s boyfriend to locate the accused.
If convicted of rape, Isham faces up to 20 years' jail and a fine or caning for each charge.
The trial continues on Tuesday afternoon.
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