KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian pilot has been found guilty in a Perth court of raping a woman at knifepoint 21 years ago, Australian papers reported yesterday.
Alfred Gerard Eravelly, who is now 50, had gained access to the woman’s home in Scarborough in the early hours of March 9, 1996, by cutting the fly screen in her bathroom window.
He was said to have worn a stocking over his head to avoid being recognised, tied her up and sexually assaulted her. However, he left behind DNA which led to his arrest in February last year when he landed in Sydney.
The Perth Now paper reported that when Eravelly was taken to Perth, he was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual penetration without consent and one count each of burglary, unlawful detention and unlawful wounding.
He was found guilty on all charges after a six-day trial at the District Court of Western Australia.
The paper reported that prosecutor Sean Dworcan had, in his opening address last week, said Eravelly lived less than 2km away from his victim at the time of the offences, “when he was a cash-strapped aviation student”.
After completing his training, he returned to Malaysia where he became a pilot for AirAsia.
Dworcan had said Eravelly told detectives he had dated the woman and tied her up as part of a kinky, consensual sex but also admitted to being a Peeping Tom, spying on his victim through a window.
“He then revealed to police he had a fantasy about breaking into a home and raping a woman, (but) didn’t enjoy acting out the fantasy,” the Perth Now report said.
The West Australian paper, meanwhile, said Eravelly, a father of two, claimed he met the woman at a bar in Leederville in the weeks prior to the attack and was invited to the house to have consensual sex.
“He claimed the relationship turned sour after the woman refused his demand for money and she went to police with a false report after he blackmailed her by threatening to tell her partner about their affair,” the paper reported.
It said the jury deliberated for more than four hours before convicting Eravelly on all counts.
The West Australian said the victim, now 59, had told the court that she felt the blade of a knife against her neck and was told to “do as I say and I won't hurt you” before he raped her on the bed.
The court was told Eravelly cut the woman’s arm with the knife during the ordeal.
“The woman rejected Eravelly’s claim the pair were having an affair and said she’d never met Eravelly and she feared she was going to be killed during the ordeal. DNA samples were taken from the woman's bedding which, after advances in forensic technology, matched Eravelly in 2015,” the paper reported.
The victim also told the court she was so traumatised by the attack that she immediately had gotten installed security screens on her windows and a panic button next to her bed.