British trio rape trial: Accused says not possible woman mistook him for his friend

Three Britons of Vietnamese descent, Tam Thanh Khong and two others, Vu Thai Son and Michael Le (in spectacles), are on trial for the alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman at a hotel on Sept 10, 2016.
Three Britons of Vietnamese descent, Tam Thanh Khong and two others, Vu Thai Son and Michael Le (in spectacles), are on trial for the alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman at a hotel on Sept 10, 2016.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - One of three British nationals on trial for gang-raping a Malaysian woman in Carlton Hotel last year rejected the suggestion that she had sex with him thinking he was another man.

"I have tattoos on both my arms and chest which Richard does not have," Vu Thai Son, 24, a manicurist, said in police statements that were read out in court on Friday (Aug 4), the fourth day of the ongoing trial.

Richard refers to Mr Trinh Viet Anh, 24, who had taken the 22-year-old woman back to his hotel room after a night out at Zouk and had consensual sex with her. The woman, a marketing and corporate communications officer, was visiting Singapore.

Son, together with Khong Tam Thanh, 22, and Michael Le, 24, are accused of taking turns to rape her in the room while she was asleep.

The men, all British citizens of Vietnamese descent, were part of a group of friends who came to Singapore on Sept 9 last year for a dance music festival and to throw a stag party. They had booked three rooms at the hotel.

On Thursday (Aug 3), the court heard that Thanh had told police that the woman consented to having sex with him and even asked him, "What are you waiting for?".

 
 

On Friday, statements made by Son were similarly submitted to court.

Son said that he was chatting with some of his friends in one room while Mr Anh was "with someone" in his room. After some time, Mr Anh came to their room.

Son, who was only in his boxers, then put on a bathrobe and went over to Mr Anh's room to brush his teeth, he said.

After brushing his teeth, he went over to the woman on the bed and started flirting with her, he said. In his statement, he described in graphic detail how they had sex.

Son said the woman "definitely" knew who he was because the lights were on and they had earlier met at Zouk. He said she did not resist him in any way and had said "naughty things" while they were having sex.

When asked about the contents of a group chat - named "Good boys on Tour" - in which he sent a message asking "Who's next?", Son said he was asking who was next to use the bathroom. As for the message "every man looking to go in at once", he said it was a joke.

Friday's court session ended with Le's lawyer, Mr Ramesh Tiwary, telling the court that in view of "certain developments", he would like to confirm his client's instructions and would update the prosecution by Sunday night.

Mr Anh is believed to have left Singapore illegally.