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DH tells court she “tapped” elderly ward with stool to stop him touching his feces

01 March 2019

Trial was held in Eastern Court

By Vir B. Lumicao

Was it a tap or a blow?

A Filipina accused of assaulting her bedridden elderly male ward has admitted using a pink plastic stool to hit his hand, but said it was just a “tap” to remind him not to touch his feces.

Ivy Rebustillo was again called to the witness on Mar 1 in Eastern Court, for the alleged twin assaults on the husband of her employer on Jun 30 last year. The alleged victim died late last year.

During her testimony, a CCTV footage taken in the living room of the employer’s North Point flat was played repeatedly in a bid to challenge the prosecution’s case that the recording showed her committing both common assault and indecent assault on her ward.

The part where Rebustillo had used a stool to “tap” on the hand of her ward, named only as “Mr X,” was replayed over and over as the helper was asked if that was intentional.

Each time the Filipina said “no”. She repeatedly said it was just a tap to stop her ward touching his feces.

When asked why she had to use the stool to hit the hand of her ward when she could have just used her hand, Rebustillo said it was what she was holding at the time.

But during cross-examination, the prosecutor took note of the force of the tapping. He said the knocking sound picked up by the CCTV from the impact formed the basis for the police charging her with common assault.

The prosecutor also said the seven seconds it took for the Filipina the pull the penis of the elderly man while changing his diaper was the basis for the indecent assault charge. He asked why the Filipina had to hold the sex organ that long if she was just inspecting her ward’s genital area while it was smeared with excrement.

The defense scored an initial victory when Magistrate Selma Masood agreed to exclude from the trial a video recorded interview by the police with Resbustillo, after her lawyer alleged investigators used threats and inducements to get her to admit the charges.

But Masood ruled that Rebustillo had a case to answer.

According to Rebustillo’s lawyer assigned by the Duty Lawyer Service, his client was repeatedly body-searched and handcuffed as she was transported between the two police stations in North Point and Wanchai for the interview.

The lawyer also said the police had told the Filipina that she could have a possible sentence of six months in jail reduced to just two months if she pleaded guilty to the charges.

At the start of her testimony, Rebustillo had claimed she did not fully understand a police notice about her rights which she was made to sign, because she was given a Tagalog interpreter instead of a Bicolano one as she had requested.

Her lawyer said it was wrong for the police to make her sign the declaration when she did not fully understand its contents.

Magistrate Masood set the final day of hearing on Mar. 7.

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