Rape suspect who spread faeces in court gets more time to file defence
Isham Kayubi, who is accused of raping two 14-year-old girls, said he needed to time to study court transcripts in order to prepare his defence.
A man accused of raping two 14-year-old girls in 2017 — who gained notoriety for smearing faeces in court last week — has been granted extra time to make submissions in his defence after claiming he had not received court transcripts.
At a High Court hearing on Thursday (Jan 23), Justice See Kee Oon said he would give part-time deliveryman Isham Kayubi, 49, until Jan 31 to file his defence submissions, which had been due to be filed by Wednesday ahead of a possible verdict on Thursday.
The judge said Isham, who is not represented by a lawyer, should have received the court transcripts, but that he would give him the benefit of the doubt, and allow him the additional time to file the defence submissions.
On Monday, Isham tried to have the case delayed when he claimed he had only just regained his memory, and needed time to hire a lawyer — a submission the judge rejected after hearing medical evidence that Isham had no memory problems.
Isham has claimed trial in the High Court on four counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.
The punishment for the rape of a minor is a jail term of up to 20 years. Those found guilty are also liable to a fine or caning. Caning, however, will not be carried out if the accused is 50 and above.
Isham turns 50 in June.
While Isham did not file his defence submission, he did submit a handwritten note which Justice See summarised for the court on Thursday.
“This letter basically says that he did not commit the offences,” the judge said. “He (also) maintains his request for a lawyer to defend his case. I maintain my earlier (decision). His request will not be allowed.”
In his ruling on Monday, Justice See said Isham had a chance to engage a new lawyer after his lawyers from the legal aid scheme, who were supposed to provide him with pro-bono legal help, discharged themselves — but he had chosen not to do so.
In his note to the court on Thursday, Isham also said he did not have access to the transcripts of the proceedings, and wanted them for reference.
'OVERWHELMING' EVIDENCE AGAINST ACCUSED: PROSECUTION
In the meantime, Justice See invited Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew to proceed with reading the prosecution’s submissions.
Mr Chew said the evidence against Isham proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he had raped the two girls.
He pointed out that elevator and police camera footage showed that both victims had been telling the truth when they said that they had been taken to Isham’s house.
Furthermore, videos of an explicit nature were also retrieved from Isham’s mobile phone that showed that sexual acts took place against the respective victims’ will in his bedroom.
There was also DNA evidence linking Isham to the sexual offences.
“There is no question that the victims were telling the truth (regarding) the fact they were brought to his house and the acts did occur,” said Mr Chew.
The court previously heard that Isham had contacted the first victim in September 2017 after a friend used his phone to call the girl, and allegedly raped her on Oct 15 in 2017 when the girl went to his home thinking that she was to clean his house in return for S$150.
The second alleged victim was introduced to Isham in person at the void deck of her then-boyfriend’s block of flats on Oct 29, 2017. She went to his house thinking that she was to take care of his house in return for a mobile phone, but was instead allegedly sexually assaulted and raped twice. He is said to have raped the girl again a few days later.
While Isham has not given any evidence, Justice See noted in a previous hearing that his defence appeared to be that the victims consented to the sex, and that he is a victim of a conspiracy. This was inferred from the few questions Isham had posed to the prosecution’s witnesses, including his two alleged victims.
Turning his attention to this matter, Mr Chew said they had both tried to resist Isham, but they ultimately submitted out of fear because of the threats he had levelled against them.
“They found themselves at the point of time with an unfamiliar male adult, alone in the person’s bed. It is very clear from both victims’ evidence there was no consent at all for any of the sexual acts,” said Mr Chew, who found the victims to be credible.
Touching on why the second victim returned to Isham’s home on another occasion, despite her first encounter with the accused man, Mr Chew said that Isham had threatened to make the first sex video he took of her go viral.
The prosecutor said that it is understandable that the victim would have felt “profoundly helpless” and would not have known what else to do other than to follow Isham’s instructions on the second occasion as she was scared.
“She had no way to predict what might happen to her if she tried to escape or she tried to resist him,” he added.
“We submit that evidence overwhelmingly proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed six offences against the two victims on those three occasions and find him guilty on those charges.”
When asked if he had anything to say in response to the prosecution, Isham said again through a Malay interpreter that he needed time to study the transcripts.
Justice See said he would direct the prisons authorities to give Isham access to the transcript and that he would have until Jan 31 to file his final submissions. The trial has been adjourned until Feb 5.
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