by Suhaile Md
ALL he did was lift the blue nightdress. Nothing more.
That’s what the accused, a 33-year-old man, said. He denied raping or molesting his 56-year-old mother in their one-bedroom flat on October 4, 2013. You can read about yesterday’s (July 21) trial here.
Taking the stand for the first time at the High Court today (July 22), the son said he let go of the dress when his mother woke up and asked him in Malay: “What is this, boy?”. He then returned to his mattress on the floor and fell asleep, he added. This was around 2.30am.
A few hours later, at 6am, the son said his mother woke him up to accompany her to a nearby coffeeshop for coffee. They spent about five to 10 minutes there. Both of them pretended the earlier incident never happened, said the accused. Instead, in those few minutes, they managed to fit in a quarrel, which started after he asked her about about her thoughts on divorcing his stepfather – her second husband. It was a topic she brought up a few days back, the son said.
The accused was asked by the defence to recount what happened the day before the alleged rape.
The second of three sons, the accused said he was on medical leave from his work as a safety co-ordinator. He started the day with a call to his two brothers, asking them to return him the money each of them owed him, a total of $800. His mother was with him when he made the calls. His stepfather owed him $100 as well, but could not be reached on the phone. In any case, his stepfather settled his debt on the day itself.
Later in the afternoon, the son said he finished a bottle of dry gin, which he had mixed with tonic, before heading to a clinic to get his left ear checked. He had an operation on it before and it was hurting again. After which, he headed to a night club where he downed another half bottle of Chivas Regal, a brand of whiskey.
When he got home at about 2am, his mother was alone. His stepfather, who worked at an eatery from 2am to 2pm, was away. On entering their shared one-bedroom flat, the son said he arranged his mattress on the floor, where he usually sleeps on. That was when he saw his mother lying on her bed, he said. He then went over to lift her dress.
The prosecutor asked why he did so. He replied: “To see her private parts.” But the accused maintained he did nothing beyond lifting the dress.
The cross examination then focused on the conversation at the coffeeshop. The prosecutor asked if the son felt awful for lifting the dress. He said yes, and on further questioning, said he did not apologise because he was too embarrassed to bring up the subject. He reckons his mother was embarrassed as well. Both of them pretended nothing happened. He then asked her about plans to divorce her husband. This led to a quarrel and ended with the mother leaving for the elder son’s house.
The court heard more details about the family background today. His paternal grandmother raised him and his brothers, but eventually had to send them to the orphanage when he was five, because she couldn’t afford it. His parents – mother and biological father – had split and were absent from his childhood. He said she never visited them at the orphanage. His father did so, but died of a heart attack in 2002.
When the defence asked about his mother, the accused said he loved her “like a mother” but sometimes hated her as she was absent from his childhood. He said this was one of the major reasons for their arguments – quarrels which would upset him enough to call her a “prostitute” or “cheap whore” in Malay. Other reasons for their fights would be over his drinking habits, playing of loud music and rude behaviour.
The accused said he disliked his stepfather, whom he quarrelled with. He claimed that his stepfather never told his mother that he already had a family in India when they got married.
In spite of this, they would both go drinking together. When the prosecutor asked if that meant they got along, the son replied no: They would drink together but not talk much. He claimed his fraught relationship with his parents was the reason his mother trumped up accusations against him – to get him out of the house for good.
So did he, or did he not rape her? The trial resumes on September 7.
To know more about the trial, read our reports here:
- A phone call between a mother and her alleged rapist – her son
- Rapist-son trial: Expert witness concedes possible that ‘rape never took place’
Featured image from TMG file.
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