Khateebulla Mirza: Accused rapist thought he was in a 'video game' when alleged attacks took place

Sophia McCaughan
AAP
3 Min Read
A man is on trial accused of raping a woman at knifepoint and indecently touching two other women. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)
A man is on trial accused of raping a woman at knifepoint and indecently touching two other women. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

A man accused of raping a woman at knifepoint and sexually touching two others did so because he thought he was in a video game, a court has been told.

Khateebulla Mirza is accused of breaking into a random woman’s apartment at Auburn, in Sydney’s western suburbs, raping her at knifepoint while allegedly recording the encounter on his phone in November 2022.

On the same day as the Auburn attack, Mirza is alleged to have indecently touched a woman’s breast in the inner west suburb of Marrickville.

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The court was told when confronted by the woman he allegedly touched, Mirza said, “You look hot, I just wanted to touch you.”

In October 2022, the 38-year-old allegedly touched a woman on the backside outside a building in Zetland south of Sydney.

When he was confronted by her, Mirza said, “What are you going to do about it?”

On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including sexual touching without consent, aggravated sexual intercourse without consent and assault.

Mirza is facing a trial by judge alone, with the defence calling their first and only expert witness to the stand at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.

Forensic psychiatrist Adam Martin told Judge Ian Bourke that at the time of his offending, Mirza genuinely believed he was in a video game.

“Mirza gives ... a consistent account over delusional beliefs about being part of a video game, where he has to reach a level after level subject to some organisation that infiltrates his family and his work,” Dr Martin said..

“He thinks literally he is part of a video game and he has to do certain actions to reach certain levels.”

In the year preceding the attacks, the court was told Mirza involuntarily spent time in a mental hospital.

“He was clearly mentally ill,” Dr Martin said.

“It means that his case is genuine - in this case he was very mentally ill before the alleged offending.”

Under intense cross-examination by crown prosecutor Caroline Dobraszczyk, Dr Martin defended his findings that Mirza was mentally impaired during the time of his alleged offending.

“You agree there is no clear connection between his explanation and the acts that he did?” Ms Dobraszczyk asked.

“I think there is and I think there is a direct link between his actions and his psychological phenomena,” he told the court.

The Crown’s expert witness, forensic psychiatrist David Greenberg, is set to present his evidence on Wednesday.

Both psychiatrists agree that Mirza has some form of schizophrenia.

Ms Dobraszczyk told the judge the question that remained was if Mirza was mentally competent during the alleged incidents.

“There is no real issue in this case as to the fact that this accused committed all the physical acts,” she said.

“The only issue is whether the accused can make out the defence of mental health impairment.”

The trial continues Wednesday.

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