British trio's rape trial

Woman was 'willing and consented'

Khong Tam Thanh, 22, is one of three Britons of Vietnamese descent on trial for the alleged rape of a Malaysian woman at Carlton Hotel in Bras Basah Road last year. The trio are accused of taking turns to rape the woman while she was drunk and asleep
Khong Tam Thanh, 22, is one of three Britons of Vietnamese descent on trial for the alleged rape of a Malaysian woman at Carlton Hotel in Bras Basah Road last year. The trio are accused of taking turns to rape the woman while she was drunk and asleep.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Victim knew exactly what she was doing, was happy about it, says one of accused

One of three British nationals on trial for gang-raping a Malaysian woman in Carlton Hotel told police that it was his friend who told him to have sex with the woman.

Khong Tam Thanh, 22, said his friend was the one who took the woman back to his room after a night out. He also said the 22-year-old woman agreed to have sex with him.

According to Thanh's police statements, she said: "What are you waiting for?" and explicitly asked him to have sex with her, the High Court heard yesterday.

Thanh is accused of taking turns to rape the woman with Michael Le and Vu Thai Son, both 24, while she was drunk and asleep. Thanh and Son are also accused of sexually violating her.

The three men are part of a group of friends who had come to Singapore on Sept 9 last year to attend a dance music festival. They had booked three rooms in a hotel.

On the night they arrived, the group went clubbing at Zouk, where one of them, Mr Trinh Viet Anh, 24, struck up a conversation with the woman.

The woman, a marketing and corporate communications officer, was visiting Singapore.

She suggested going to Mr Anh's hotel room, where they had consensual sex, after which she fell asleep. By then, Thanh, Son and Le had returned and were gathered in another room with the rest of their friends.

 

At about 4am, Mr Anh let Thanh into his room, and left. After Thanh left the room at about 4.25am, Son entered. And within a minute after Son left the room, at about 4.50am, Le entered.

Prosecutors allege that the trio took turns to rape the woman, who thought Mr Anh was the one in bed with her all along.

Yesterday, the court heard that when Thanh, a beautician, was questioned by police on Sept 11 last year, he said he was "100 per cent positive" that he did not touch the woman when he went into the room to use the bathroom. "I wasn't even close to her. I was standing about a metre from the foot of the bed," he told police.

The next day, he changed his story, saying he had consensual sex with the woman but had lied because he was worried about his family and four-year-old daughter in London.

Thanh said it was Mr Anh who suggested he have sex with the woman in his room after he opened his room door for him. He said he felt he "should try" after he had finished using the bathroom. He also kept telling the police that it was not rape because the woman was "willing and consented" and she "knew exactly what she was doing and with who, and she was totally happy about it".

Mr Anh is believed to have fled Singapore illegally. The trial continues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2017, with the headline 'Woman was 'willing and consented''. Print Edition | Subscribe