Friday, August 27, 2010

Man on rape trial wants lawyer

Aug 27, 2010

By Khushwant Singh

AFTER three days into trial, an odd-job worker accused of sexually abusing his daughter for more than 10 years told the High Court on Friday he wanted a lawyer because he was unable to conduct his own defence.

The man's father, a taxi driver, then came forward to say that the family would approach a law firm.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Leong Wing Tuck left it to the court to decide on an adjournment but pointed out that the trial was in an advanced stage, having heard testimony from the victim.
Justice Tay Yong Kwang adjourned the trial till Monday. The judge however reminded the man that the court had inquired repeatedly at the start of proceedings if he wanted legal representation.

The accused had said he could not afford to hire a lawyer and the Law Society's Criminal Legal Aid Scheme had rejected his application.

Insisting that he was able to act for himself, the trial proceeded on Monday. On Thursday, the man appeared to find it difficult to challenge the testimony of his daughter, who is now 17, and attending a private school.

He has two other children, who are both in primary school. His other daughter, 12, was to take the stand on Friday.

The man faces three charges of rape and one charge each of oral sex and molestation between 1999 and last year. It is believed he started when his eldest child was only six. If convicted of these offences, he could be jailed for life and caned.

Aug 27, 2010
Teen confronts rapist father

By Khushwant Singh

MID-WAY through her testimony, the prosecutor asked the 17-year-old rape victim to look into her father's eyes and repeat her allegations against him.

Sobbing, she did just that.

'Yes, he raped me,' she told the High Court of her 34-year-old father, an odd job worker accused of sexually abusing her for over 10 years.

She told the High Court she sacrificed her happiness as she was aware that telling anyone about the sexual abuse she suffered from her father would tear up the family.

Her only happy moments were when she and her younger siblings went out shopping with their parents. 'Only then could I feel the warmth of family life but once at home I would have second thoughts because of what was happening to me,' she said between sobs.

Earlier, the secondary school student told the court how the sexual abuse started in 1999 when she was only six years old. He made her perform oral sex on him.

A year later, he raped her twice in the living room of their rented flat. She had not even reached puberty then.

[Innocent until proven guilty, so I will not assume guilt. But if the man is indeed quilty of the crime, then it is unconscionable for him to pursue a trial and force his victim to testify in court. ]

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