Ex-Grab driver acquitted of attempted rape of intoxicated 19-year-old passenger

SINGAPORE: A High Court choose on Wednesday (Apr 27) acquitted a former Grab driver of the attempted rape of an intoxicated 19-year-old passenger in 2018. 

Tan Yew Sin, 47, was cleared of a complete of three fees of attempted rape, sexual assault and outrage of modesty after contesting the allegations at trial.

He was accused of committing the offences in his automobile within the early hours of May 19, 2018, after accepting a reserving to ferry the lady from Wildseed Bar at Seletar Aerospace Park to her residence.

Justice Pang Khang Chau discovered that the lady, although intoxicated, had the capability for consent and demonstrated this in her behaviour all through the night time.

The choose additionally discovered that even when the lady was not capable of consent, Tan might fairly have been mistaken that she was capable of.

The sexual acts occurred within the automobile after that they had reached the passenger’s residence. At trial, Tan admitted to the sexual encounter, however argued that it was consensual.

He testified that he thought the lady wished intercourse and that he was attempting to return her identification card to her purse when he circled and “next thing I know, we end up kissing”.

The prosecution’s case was that the lady didn’t consent to the sexual acts, and was so intoxicated that she wouldn’t have been capable of consent. Her identification is protected by gag order.

LACK OF CAPACITY FOR CONSENT

Justice Pang mentioned the lady had consumed 5 pints of beer that night time and was intoxicated, however this reality alone was inadequate to determine her lack of capability for consent.

He mentioned {that a} lack of capability for consent would require her to be unable to know the character and consequence of what she was consenting to because of intoxication.

Noting that the lady was emotional and crying, and confirmed motor impairment similar to an unstable gait, the choose mentioned that ingesting a considerable quantity of alcohol or behaving unusually didn’t point out an absence of capability for consent.

He additionally famous that the lady couldn’t bear in mind the sexual encounter with Tan. However, he mentioned that the shortcoming to type reminiscences because of alcohol intoxication didn’t imply she was unable to carry out cognitive capabilities.

SHE WAS ABLE TO CONSENT, SAYS JUDGE

Justice Pang mentioned the query to be determined was not whether or not the lady was intoxicated, however whether or not she misplaced the capability to “understand and decide” on her actions.

He mentioned that the lady demonstrated this means at a number of factors in the course of the night time and cited a quantity of situations.

At the bar the place she had been ingesting, she repeatedly rejected a buddy’s provide to drive her residence and mentioned she was okay. The lady testified that she did this to keep away from worrying her buddy. Justice Pang mentioned this demonstrated her means to look past her rapid wants and take into account her buddy that night time.

Later, after the automobile reached her residence, the lady advised Tan she was not prepared to go away. She was looking for her pockets to pay the driver then, and this confirmed her consciousness of the circumstances below which she can be prepared to go away the automobile, mentioned the choose.

After the lady didn’t entry her residence, Tan requested her if she was okay and he or she mentioned that she was. She testified that she responded on this means as a result of she didn’t know Tan and didn’t wish to say a lot, which additionally demonstrated consciousness of her environment, mentioned Justice Pang.

In the automobile, the lady was emotional, thumping herself on the chest together with her fist and banging her head on the window, however would cease every time Tan urged her to cease. This confirmed an consciousness of what Tan was saying to her and her determination to simply accept his suggestion, mentioned the choose.

After the sexual acts, Tan requested the lady if she was okay, to which she replied sure and requested him to proceed driving. This confirmed her means to evaluate whether or not she wished to go away or stay within the automobile with Tan even after the sexual encounter, mentioned the choose.

For causes unknown, the sufferer didn’t go residence and was discovered by one other Grab driver at round 4.40am, mendacity within the center of the highway together with her underwear and shorts lacking.

DEFENCE OF A REASONABLE MISTAKE

Justice Pang additionally agreed with the defence’s secondary argument that even when the lady was certainly unable to consent, Tan might have been mistaken and held the affordable perception that she was capable of consent.

The choose famous that the components he gave for figuring out that the lady had the capability to consent have been exterior, bodily manifestations of her behaviour.

He mentioned the lady was capable of reply relevantly and appropriately to Tan’s questions and ideas in the course of the night time.

As half of his evaluation, Justice Pang famous that the lady was unable to recall the sexual encounter and couldn’t give proof as as to if she consented.

The evaluation of whether or not there was consent subsequently depended largely on the credibility of Tan’s testimony, mentioned the choose.

He mentioned that Tan’s model of occasions had been constant since his first police assertion after his arrest, and added that the person couldn’t have identified again then that the lady was unable to recall what occurred.

“I find the accused’s testimony credible and accept his version of events,” mentioned Justice Pang.

The choose additionally relied on in-car digital camera recordings of the alternate in Tan’s automobile and CCTV footage of the lady from the bar and her residence to make his findings.

Speaking to reporters after the decision, defence lawyer Chenthil Kumarasingam mentioned that Tan wished to get again to his life and that his household had been via a “a lot” previously 4 years.

“Him going back to his life is really all that he wants at the moment,” mentioned the lawyer.

Tan might have been jailed for as much as 20 years, fined or caned for attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration.

For outrage of modesty, he might have been jailed for as much as two years, fined, caned, or given any mixture of these punishments.

Ex-Grab driver acquitted of attempted rape of intoxicated 19-year-old passenger

Davina Tham

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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