Stepdad gets jail and caning for molestation

A cleaning supervisor who molested his 11-year-old stepdaughter on two occasions was sentenced to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday.

The 43-year-old, who cannot be named, admitted to one charge of using criminal force to outrage the girl's modesty by squeezing her breasts at his home in the Jalan Besar area between 12am and 6am on April 4 this year.

A similar charge committed some time last year was taken into consideration.

The accused married the victim's mother some time in 2012. She has custody of her four children, including the victim, from her previous marriage.

The victim, then a Primary 5 pupil, and her siblings addressed the accused as "daddy".

On April 6 this year, she told a school counsellor what had happened after a teacher saw her crying.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development was subsequently called in and a police report was made.

The accused said in mitigation that he was the sole breadwinner of the family with six children. Pleading for a lighter sentence, he said his wife - who was in court - had been supporting him.

District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said the accused was supposed to take care of the victim and not take advantage of her.

The maximum penalty for molesting any person under 14 years old is five years' jail, a fine and caning.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Stepdad gets jail and caning for molestation'. Print Edition | Subscribe