Mohammad Rosli Abdul Rahim, a 52-year-old-man, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday (13 Jan) for stabbing 35-year-old Mohammad Roslan Zaini to death in the early hours of 16 August 2017, during a dispute over the rent.
The murder had taken place in their Teck Whye Crescent unit in Block 165A.
In November of last year, Rosli had been found guilty of murder after the High Court rejected his defence that he had accidentally inflicted the mortal wound on the victim.
On the morning of 16 August 2017, Mohammad Roslan Zaini’s corpse was found on the pavement near the void of Block 165A, Teck Whye Crescent.
It was around 4:42am when the police received a call for help at the scene. Upon their arrival, they found the victim lying motionless on the floor.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) had been called around 4:45am as well, though the paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene at 4:55am.
Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department had been dispatched with due haste and they managed to establish the identity of the suspect quickly.
In early August of 2017, Rosli had begun suspecting that his co-tenant had been over-charging him for his share of the rent, which led to his rising resentments.
Then a day prior to the stabbing, he had complained to Roslan’s girlfriend that he had given Roslan more than $100 for the flat rental while the man did not pay for anything.
He even said that he wanted to stop renting the flat with Roslan, which was quite ironic, considering the fact that Rosli only had shelter over his head because Roslan had offered to share his flat space with him six months ago after noticing that he had been homeless.
At around 4am in the morning, the pair and two other acquaintances had been watching movies when an argument broke out over the money.
In a fit of rage, Rosli took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his flatmate in the heart, followed by another thrust into his right forearm and once in his right thigh.
After the violent attack, Roslan had fled for his life, stumbling down the stairs before eventually collapsing on the grass patch where he was discovered thereafter.
The two acquaintances who witnessed the entire scene escaped as well.
Photographs taken at the scene found blood splatters on the door and bloodied fingerprints streaking down the railings and dripping on the steps, evidently showing how much Roslan had struggled in his throes of death.
At the trial, Mohammad Rosli Abdul Rahim claimed that during the melee fight in the poorly illuminated flat, he had “accidentally poked” the victim’s chest when he was swinging the blade downwards as the victim moved forward.
However, forensic evidence and testimonies from the eyewitnesses had proven that the cause of death was an inward thrust to the heart.
The forensics pathologist, Gilbert Lau, who presented his findings during the inquest, stated that it was impossible for a slashing motion to create the fatal stab wound.
Rosli also claimed that he had been angered by the vulgarities which the victim had uttered about his mother prior to his slaying, and he had been under the influence of Nitrazepam, a sedative.
After considering the expert evidence on the effects of Nitrazepam, the judge decided that it would not have impeded Rosli’s physical and mental control severely.
In the concluding verdict, High Court Justice Dedar Singh Gill rejected his defence and declared, “The evidence, on the whole, shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the stab wound was intentionally inflicted by the accused.”
Mohammad Rosli Abdul Rahim was thus proven guilty, with his sentence for the murder being either the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The prosecutors did not object to the latter.
Thus, after a five-year-long trial, it was finalised that Mohammad Rosli Abdul Rahim was to be sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Mohammad Roslan Zahin.
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