An Indian national was yesterday sentenced to death for killing a Filipino
prostitute in a frenzied knife attack.
Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan (picture), 36, had initially tried to pin
the murder of Roselyn Reyes Pascua on March 15, 2010 on an unidentified Malay
He came clean only under cross-examination during his trial but claimed he
stabbed the 30-year-old woman more than 10 times because of "grave and sudden
provocation": They had agreed on S$100 for one hour of sex but she subsequently
doubled the price and refused to return him his "hard-earned" money.
In a nine-page judgment, Justice Choo Han Teck dismissed Gopinathan's account
and said he agreed with the prosecution's theory that the shipyard worker had
gone to Ms Pascua's room at Peony Mansion in Bencoolen Street to rob her.
Gopinathan was "making up evidence so often and in almost every aspect of the
case ... that I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that he was a
totally untrustworthy witness", said the judge.
Following his arrest, two days after the murder, Gopinathan told the police
several versions of what had happened. One version was that he saw a Malay man
stab Ms Pascua when he opened her room door.
His lie was exposed after surveillance footage showed him entering the lift
alone with her on the night of March 14.M
Gopinathan then changed his tale. He claimed that, when Ms Pascua solicited him
for sex, they agreed on a S$100 fee but that, when they were in the room, she
jacked up the price and snatched his wallet when he did not want to pay more.
He added that he had stabbed her only after she had slapped him, kicked him in
the groin area, punched him and refused to return the S$100 he had earlier
handed to her.
Gopinathan stabbed Ms Pascua 10 times on her chest and abdomen, once on her
neck and twice in her genital area. The fatal blow was a stab that pierced her
left lung and penetrated her heart.
He claimed he had only taken his wallet, his bloodstained S$100 that was in her
hands and her mobile phone when he left. However, his DNA was found on her
Noting Ms Pascua had no defensive injuries, Justice Choo dismissed Gopinathan's
Even if Gopinathan's version were true - which he did not believe to be so -
there was "no basis" for him to stab her so many times with a knife since Ms
Pascua was unarmed, the judge added.
Defence lawyer Shashi Nathan told reporters that Gopinathan's wife still does
not know he is facing the gallows and thinks he only committed a minor offence.
He added that an appeal against the court's verdict was likely.