Trial of brutal Filipina murder begins

The trial of an Indian shipyard worker, who stabbed a Filipino woman to death in Singapore last year, has begun.

30-year-old Roselyn Reyes Pascua, believed to be a prostitute, died from excessive bleeding after being stabbed 10 times in the chest and abdomen, once in the neck and twice in the vagina.

Indian national Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan, admitted to stabbing Pascua, but said that he did it under serious provocation.

On 15 March last year, Pascua, who arrived in Singapore on 9 February 2010 on a social visit pass, was found in a pool of blood in a room at Peony Mansion in Bencoolen Street in the early hours of the morning.

Dr Wee Keng Poh, a forensic pathologist, told the court that Pascua died from a wound to her heart, but noted that two other wounds could also have fatal – a very serious neck wound and another to the abdomen, reported the Straits Times.

Wee, from the Health Sciences Authority, said that Pascua’s 3cm-deep neck wound stopped her from crying out for help before she bled to death. He added that Pascua’s arms and legs had no marks indicating a scuffle, as well as no defensive wounds on her body.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy said that bruises on her face and cuts to her lips indicated that she was punched repeatedly.

Closed-circuit television footage from Peony Mansion’s ground floor lift lobby showed Pascua entering the lift with Gopinathan at 7:10pm on 14 March. He was spotted leaving nine minutes later, heading out the building’s rear exit.

Azlee Thaib, sleeping in the room opposite Pascua’s, discovered the body at about 3am when he heard two Filipino women crying outside Pascua’s room. The 48-year-old driver called the building’s caretaker, who then reported the discovery to the police.

Gopinathan was arrested three days later, carrying Pascua’s mobile phone, some bloodstained money, a Western Union receipt for a money transfer to India and a large amount of cash. The court was not told on the amount of money found on him. The murder weapon was also not found.

Gopinathan will be sentenced to hang if found guilty. At best, his sentence could be reduced to culpable homicide, which will get him a jail term.

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