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    May 28, 2015

    Jail, cane for raping stranger in car

    A STOREMAN who raped a woman in his car on a bridge in Kallang Bahru and robbed her of her handbag was yesterday sentenced to 13 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane.

    Haliffie Mamat, 24, had offered the woman a lift in his car in the wee hours of the morning of May 4, 2013, near Clarke Quay.

    The 34-year-old woman, who had been drinking alone, accepted his offer as she could not get a taxi even after waiting for an hour.

    She dozed off and when she woke up, the car had stopped at a bridge. Haliffie climbed over to her seat and raped her, telling her: "You can't do anything and just enjoy."

    After the rape, he drove a short distance but stopped again. He then opened the door on her side, kicked her out and drove off with her branded handbag in the backseat.

    Haliffie denied raping her and disputed the items in her bag. During the trial, he claimed that she willingly had sex with him and that he had only pushed, not kicked, her out of his car.

    His lawyers, appointed under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, cast doubt on the reliability of the woman's testimony and her claim that Haliffie had grabbed her forearm and caused her hand to hit something in the car, which resulted in a bruise on the back of her hand.

    On Tuesday, Senior Judge Kan Ting Chiu rejected his claim that the sex was consensual and found him guilty of rape. However, the judge amended the charge to a less serious one which did not involve any accusation that he had hurt her.

    Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor S. Sellakumaran sought a sentence of 15 years and 18 strokes of the cane, arguing that Haliffie had betrayed her trust after luring her into his car, and caused her to suffer trauma and pain.

    Haliffie's lawyer, Lionel Leo, asked for 10 years' jail and 18 strokes of the cane. He said that his client's offences were out of character as Haliffie's former wife had described him as a soft-spoken, hardworking and non-violent man.