A 49-year-old man, who defecated and smeared his faeces in the Supreme Court on Jan. 14 as he is accused of raping two underage girls, has a "history of chronic constipation", Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said a day after the stomach-turning antics occurred.
Speaking on Jan. 15, DPP Chew further noted that Isham bin Kayubi, was taking regular laxatives and that he had also complained of diarrhoea, citing a review given by a doctor at Changi General Hospital.
Justice See Kee Oon replied that the review sounded contradictory, and that there might be a need to arrange a cross-examination of the doctor.
Defecated in his pants as he could not reach toilet in time
Previously on Jan. 14, the hearing was delayed after Isham stated that he wanted to go the toilet.
He then defecated in his pants while on the way, CNA reported.
He refused to be changed, returning to court where he sat on a plastic sheet, held by officers with masks and gloves on.
DPP Chew said the doctor had explained that Isham had soiled his pants as he could not reach the toilet in time.
Smearing of faeces on shirt was to clean his hand
Judge See noted that faeces was also smeared on Isham's shirt -- an act that appeared to have been deliberate.
DPP Chew said Isham claimed that he had rubbed his soiled hands on his shirt to clean his hands.
Act of smearing faeces on glass was entirely voluntary
Both DPP Chew and Judge See agreed that Isham's action of smearing some of his faeces on the glass panel in the court was entirely of his own accord.
DPP Chew highlighted that such an action had nothing to do with whether Isham was on laxatives.
Judge See added that given a lot of Isham's previous conduct was entirely volitional, he did "not see why appropriate charges should follow as a matter of course".
Earlier in August 2019, Isham had flashed himself and urinated in court.
The hearing was adjourned and Isham was taken for a psychiatric assessment, which found him to be mentally sound.
When DPP Chew added that the prison psychiatrist, whom Isham undergoes regular review with, had found "no abnormal symptoms of psychiatric issues", Judge See replied: "In respect of what we witnessed yesterday, that is for AGC (Attorney-General's Chambers) members to consider."
DPP Chew further stated that a police investigation has since been opened into Isham's conduct in court on Jan. 14.
Mothership has reached out to the police for more information on the matter.
Accused said he needed a lawyer, prosecution objected
Judge See then asked Isham if he had any response.
After an extended pause, Isham replied through a court interpreter that he "needed a lawyer now".
This drew an objection from DPP Chew, who pointed out that Isham had previously been assigned two lawyers at the pre-trial stage.
However, the first lawyer, Richard Seow, sought to discharge himself on Sep. 18, 2018, while the second lawyer who was brought in afterwards, Raymond Tiah, applied to discharge himself on Oct. 2, 2018.
DPP Chew highlighted that Tiah, in particular, had sought to do so on the grounds that Isham's defense was "unmeritorious and spurious".
DPP Chew further said: "The accused confirmed that he was planning to plead trial. It is quite clear the accused has had the benefit of engaging a lawyer and we therefore object."
Accused said he was in pain
In response, Isham stated that he still needed a lawyer and that he did not discharge the previous two lawyers as they did so of their own accord.
He further added that he was in pain and he could not talk much in court.
Isham then repeated his answer again when Judge See asked if he was in more pain than yesterday.
When Judge See asked about his current condition, DPP Chew stated that Isham did not have any other issues highlighted apart from constipation and that the hearing should proceed.
In agreeing with DPP Chew's assessment, Judge See replied: "He appears to be far more responsive today. The sum total of what he uttered yesterday is a mere fraction of what he said in the last 20 minutes."
If found guilty, Isham could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned for each charge of rape.
A male offender above the age of 50 will not receive caning as a punishment.
More details on Isham's charges:
Top photo by Matthias Ang