Neighbours testify that they provided strings used to tie up man who was found dead in Yishun

Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong (left) and Lawrence Lim Peck Beng (right) are on trial for allegedly assailing Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues at Block 279 Yishun Street 22 on July 9, 2016.
Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong (left) and Lawrence Lim Peck Beng (right) are on trial for allegedly assailing Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues at Block 279 Yishun Street 22 on July 9, 2016.ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Two residents of a block in Yishun where a 26-year-old man was found dead in July 2016 provided the strings that were used to bind him on the day of his death.

One resident even assisted in tying up the victim, Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues.

The residents were among four witnesses who testified on Wednesday (Feb 12) at the trial of Mr Rodrigues' alleged assailants - Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong and Lawrence Lim Peck Beng.

The trial began on Tuesday, when the court learnt that police officers found Mr Rodrigues tied up, with his face bloodied, barely half an hour before paramedics pronounced him dead.

Tay, 24, is accused of causing grievous hurt to Mr Rodrigues on the sixth floor of Block 279 Yishun Street 22 on July 9, 2016. Both Tay and Lim live in a flat on the same floor of the block.

Tay allegedly stomped on Mr Rodrigues' shoulder, punched him in the face and head multiple times, forcefully pushed his face to the ground and pressed his knee on the victim's back for about 20 minutes.

This caused Mr Rodrigues to suffer traumatic asphyxia with a head injury that led to his death.

Lim, 58, is accused of aiding Tay by sitting on Mr Rodrigues' buttocks and holding his legs while Tay assaulted him.

On Wednesday, Madam Foo Whye Keng, a resident living on the 12th storey of the same block, told the court that when the lift she was in stopped at the sixth floor, she noticed a man lying face down with two men above him at the corridor.

Curious to find out what was happening, she stepped out.

The younger of the two men then told her that the person lying on the floor had assaulted an elderly neighbour, while the older man said the person had molested his wife.

 
 
 

The older man also instructed her to find a rope that could be used to tie the person up, Madam Foo said. She went back to her flat and informed her husband, Mr Lim Hock Piou, about the incident.

She then returned to the sixth floor with two strips of raffia string and her husband.

The court heard that it was Mr Lim Hock Piou who tied Mr Rodrigues' legs together using the raffia strings.

He said in court that he was instructed to do so by the two men who were restraining Mr Rodrigues. He did not identify them.

He also said that he took about five minutes to tie Mr Rodrigues' legs, who was moving his upper and lower limbs.

Mr Lim Hock Piousaid that he also tied a white string that was bound around Mr Rodrigues' arm to the raffia string around his legs.

He did not identify the person who had earlier tied the white string around Mr Rodrigues' arm.

The court later learnt that the white string was provided by another resident - Mr Ur Kok Seng. Mr Ur, who lives on the same floor as Lim and Tay, told the court that he did not help in tying up Mr Rodrigues.

He said that, since 2014, he had seen Mr Rodrigues loitering around the block and knocking on the door of the corner flat which Tay and Lim live in.

Mr Ur claimed that Mr Rodrigues had previously assaulted his mother when she told him to stop knocking on the corner flat's door.

The trial continues on Thursday.

Correction note: A previous version of the report said Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues was 22 years old. This is incorrect. He was 26 years old. We are sorry for the error.