Man, 24, convicted for attack that led to his stalker’s death
He will be sentenced on Oct 5 for voluntarily causing grievous hurt, along with stepdad, who abetted him
A young man and his stepfather decided to take matters into their own hands after a 26-year-old man repeatedly visited their flat, and continued doing so even after the family lodged 56 police reports against him.
Ryan Xavier Tay Seet Choong, now 24, and his stepfather, Lawrence Lim Peck Beng, were so frustrated with Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodriguez that they assaulted him on eight occasions in 2015 and 2016.
Events took a tragic turn on July 9, 2016, when Tay assaulted Mr Rodriguez, who was then serving his national service with the Republic of Singapore Air Force, and Mr Rodriguez later died of traumatic asphyxia with a head injury.
Yesterday, after a trial, District Judge Tan Jen Tse found Tay guilty of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Mr Rodriguez.
Lim, now 58, was found guilty of abetting his stepson in committing the offence.
Before he died, Mr Rodriguez attended 10 counselling sessions at the Centre for Psychotherapy, and Dr Nisha Rani found that he was possibly suffering from erotomania - an obsession and a belief that somebody loves the afflicted person.
He was later referred to the Institute of Mental Health where Dr Susan Zachariah, a psychiatrist, assessed him on July 7, 2016.
Dr Zachariah found Mr Rodriguez could have been suffering from Asperger's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Two days later, Tay assaulted him, and he died before receiving a definitive diagnosis.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Wong Kok Weng, Jason Chua and Chong Kee En had earlier stated in their submissions that Mr Rodriguez and Tay knew each other in 2006 when they were altar boys at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Yishun.
Tay, however, left eight years later as he felt that Mr Rodriguez was "fixated" with him.
Mr Rodriguez then tried to contact Tay by making frequent phone calls and started loitering around the void deck of the latter's home in Yishun Street 22.
The prosecutors said that in January 2016, Tay's mother, Madam Irene Ng, filed a magistrate's complaint against Mr Rodriguez that led to mediation proceedings in the State Courts.
A mediation judge told Mr Rodriguez to stop visiting Tay. Despite this, he continued visiting the Yishun flat.
On July 9 that year, he went to the block on three separate occasions between 8.45am and 5.13pm. Madam Ng then called the police to report these visits.
Around 7pm, Tay told his mother that Mr Rodriguez was outside their home again. Madam Ng, who was out at the time, then texted her son, asking him to call the police.
The prosecutors said that Tay instead replied that he would "whack" Mr Rodriguez if he saw him.
"At about 7.40pm, the deceased returned. (Lim) opened the door and shouted at the deceased for about five minutes and opened the gate intending to physically engage him," they said.
"At this juncture, (Tay) came out of the unit and the deceased started to run away.
"(Tay) chased the deceased down the corridor and up the staircase at lift landing B."
A scuffle broke out between the two men and Tay later used his right knee to press against Mr Rodriguez's back even though the latter did not struggle.
Lim then sat on Mr Rodriguez's buttocks and performed a leg lock by crossing the latter's lower legs.
Tay rained punches on Mr Rodriguez's head before smashing it onto the ground, causing a "crack" sound and the victim's nose started to bleed.
Sometime later, some neighbours exited a nearby lift and saw Tay and Lim on Mr Rodriguez.
The pair asked them to call the police and Lim also asked for a rope to tie up Mr Rodriguez.
The court heard that a few neighbours later brought items including a rope and raffia string.
One of them, Mr Lim Hock Piou, tied Mr Rodriguez's ankles while Lim held on to his legs. Tay, meanwhile, continued to press his knee against his back.
The police arrived at the scene before Mr Lim Hock Piou could complete tying Mr Rodriguez's legs.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedic pronounced Mr Rodriguez dead around 8.30pm.
Tay and Lim will be sentenced on Oct 5.