Lorry driver charged with rape of 13-year-old claims alibi

A lorry driver who is being tried for raping a 13-year-old schoolgirl has now given an alibi.

The Straits Times reported that Hang Tuah Jumaat, 40, claimed that he was in a neighbour's flat at the time of the alleged crime talking about birds.

He said he will ask his neighbour to confirm this in court.

His wife Rajimah Yem, 41, a stall assistant, testified for the prosecution on the first day of the trial in the High Court yesterday that she saw him drive off, leaving her alone in their Boon Lay flat until midnight, reported The Straits Times.

She said he drove off at 7.15pm on April 21 last year.

The schoolgirl was the ex-girlfriend of Hang Tuah's accomplice, a 17-year-old who was sentenced to reformative training last December for raping the girl on the same night, Deputy Public Prosecutor Adrian Loo told the court.

The court has ordered that the schoolgirl not be identified so her ex-boyfriend also cannot be named.

The Straits Times reported that the girl, in her school uniform, is said to have gone out in a lorry with Hang Tuah and her ex-boyfriend where the three drank vodka mixed with orange juice.

Hang Tuah is said to have given more drinks to the already tipsy girl then he allegedly raped her while her ex-boyfriend slept in the back of the lorry.

When the ex-boyfriend woke up, he is said to have raped her as well.

Hang Tuah gave the girl $5 and told her to sleep in the lorry after he drove her back.

The girl told her teachers about the incidents when she awoke and went to school the next morning.

The police were called in and her ex-boyfriend and Hang Tuah were arrested.

The Straits Times reported that 25 witnesses are expected to be called in by the prosecution during the eight-day trial including the girl, her ex-boyfriend, and a forensic expert from the Health Sciences Authority who will testify that Hang Tuah's semen was found on the girl's clothes.

Hang Tuah has also been charged with raping a 14-year-old in November 2009 and bedding underage girls on seven occasions but these charges, along with eight traffic offences, have been stood down until the conclusion of this trial.

The punishment for rape is up to 20 years in jail and either a fine or caning.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

Become a fan on Facebook