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Public Prosecutor v N: facts

The legal judgment in the marital rape case of Public Prosecutor v N [1999] 4 SLR 619, which we have referred to several times in the FAQ, is dated 26 August, 1 October 1999. In August this year is the 10th anniversary of that first date – and the issues raised in the case remain as important as ever. Here is the summary of the facts in the legal judgment.

On 18 August 1998, while the respondent was away on overseas training, he paged for her. She responded to his paging and contacted him by telephone. In the course of the conversation, an argument ensued over the payment of his handphone bill. When the wife suggested that they get a divorce, the respondent was very upset and angry. He threatened to kill her if she dared to leave him. The wife was very frightened and she believed that he would carry out his threat upon his return from his training in less than three weeks’ time. This was because he spoke in a very fierce manner and he had on previous occasions behaved violently towards her.

Upon the respondent’s return to Singapore on 4 September 1998, he asked the wife to meet him, promising that they would have a peaceful talk. During a discussion at the void deck at Blk 410 Serangoon Central later in the evening, the respondent and the wife quarrelled again. He dragged her into his car and drove her back to their house at Rivervale Road. Upon arrival, he ordered her to go to their apartment bedroom. To avoid a scene, she did as she was told. He followed her into the bedroom and locked the door after them.

The wife was seated on the bed when the respondent hugged her. When she struggled to free herself, he turned violent and forcibly stripped her of her clothes. He then used a bath towel to tie her hands together and used another piece of cloth to gag her. Thereafter, he proceeded to engage in sexual intercourse with her against her will.

After that, he helped her to put on her pair of shorts and panties before untying her. He then took out a blouse which he had bought for her and told her to put it on. She resisted. This was followed by another physical struggle by her which ended with his slapping her across her face. When the respondent had calmed down, the wife told him that she wanted to go back to her parents’ place. The respondent agreed and drove her back to Serangoon Central.

The man in this case was not charged or convicted of rape, but only of much lesser charges relating to the other aggressive behaviour, carrying far less severe penalties than those associated with rape.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 3:52 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Public Prosecutor v N: facts”

  1. [...] FAQ « Public Prosecutor v N: facts [...]

  2. [...] The No To Rape petition has nothing to do with situations where married adults have mutually consensual sex to show affection for each other, to conceive children, or for any other purpose. It is concerned only with how we respond in cases where a woman has not consented to sex, and her husband penetrates her against her wishes – cases like PP v N. [...]

  3. [...] it emerges that he was the prosecutor in the landmark marital rape case of PP v N. We previously posted the facts of this case, taken from the court [...]

  4. [...] is the 10th anniversary of the hearing of Public Prosecutor v N, the landmark case where a man gagged, tied up and forced sex upon his wife but could not be charged for rape – to the surprise, according to [...]

  5. Natasha Latiff says:

    THIS JUDGMENT WAS DELIVERED JUST ONLY 10 YEARS AGO. Appalling.Are we aware of how recent this all is?

  6. [...] today, then Chief Justice Yong Pung How handed down the appeal judgment in the case of PP v N. (Summary of facts by court.) A woman was gagged, tied up, and forced to have sex – but despite clearcut evidence of [...]

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