Construction supervisor jailed 11 years for rape

He also gets 9 strokes of the cane for attack on tourist

After devoting her life to taking care of the elderly in their family, a woman who had never left China was looking forward to her very first overseas holiday - to be with her husband who was working here.

But nine days into her stay in a Geylang room rented by her husband, the 44-year-old was raped by a co-tenant, a Bangladeshi construction supervisor.

Yesterday, Hossain Anowar, 32, was sentenced to 11 years' jail and nine strokes of the cane for raping her on Feb 29 last year .

He initially denied it, claiming he had paid for sex. But on the second day of trial, he pleaded guilty after she was cross-examined.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy, who sought at least 12 years' jail and nine strokes of the cane for Hossain, submitted statements from the woman and her husband to show the rape's impact.

Shattered by the ordeal, she has become withdrawn and so insecure that she installed cameras at her home after returning to China.

The rape has also taken a toll on the marriage. The woman said her husband is cold towards her and thinks he blames her for what happened because he asked her why she did not fight harder.

The husband, who has quit his job here, said he knows it was wrong to question his wife and that he should support her but felt "kind of disgusted"when they are intimate.

When the couple returned for the trial, they kept it from their son and relatives to avoid questions. She said: "I felt disgusted and shamed. I tell myself that I am not at fault but I cannot erase the feeling."

The husband had come here in 2004 for work while the woman looked after her mother and her father-in-law. After they died within two months of each other, in December 2015 and January last year, he suggested that she take a break.

He rented a room on the third floor of a building in Lorong 8 Geylang and stayed with her after she arrived on Feb 20. Hossain and another worker shared the next room.

On Feb 29, while the husband was at work, Hossain knocked on their door. She opened it and saw him holding a toothbrush, clad only in his underwear. She went to the toilet and offered him her toothpaste but he turned it down.

When she tried to leave, he latched the door and raped her. Afterwards, she ran out but he pulled her back to her room and raped her again. She cried for 20 minutes before calling her husband to say she wanted to move. When pressed, she eventually revealed that she had been raped. Hossain was arrested that night when he returned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'Construction supervisor jailed 11 years for rape'. Print Edition | Subscribe