23 1/2 years' jail for man who sexually abused daughter

Father also gets maximum 24 strokes of the cane for two-year campaign of degrading acts

A food stall assistant, who sexually abused his biological daughter in the family flat for more than two years, was yesterday sentenced to 23 1/2 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.

The man, 42, denied the charges. He is appealing against his conviction and sentence and was granted $150,000 bail pending appeal.

Among other things, he claimed that it was not possible for him to have committed some of the acts, given the size and condition of his penis, which was deformed after an enlargement procedure.

The man - who cannot be named, to protect the identity of his daughter - committed various sexual offences against her between the end of 2011 and April 2014, when she was aged between 11 and 13.

After her father was sentenced, the girl, now 16, said she was glad he would get the maximum number of strokes of the cane.

"He didn't even show any remorse today. He has the guts to turn around and smile at us. What is that all about?" said the junior college student, who went to court in school uniform.


He didn't even show any remorse today. He has the guts to turn around and smile at us. What is that all about?

THE VICTIM, who was glad her father was given the maximum caning sentence.

Her mother, 41, who has divorced the accused, said: "No matter what is the sentence, even if he got the maximum, it's not enough to cover all that we went through."

When the girl was just 11, her father grabbed her hand and made her touch him. The abuse escalated to more intrusive and degrading acts.

Most of the abuse took place in the master bedroom when the girl used the computer there for school projects. Her father would ensure the door was closed and locked before subjecting her to a range of sexual acts.

She kept quiet as she was afraid that the family would break up. But after yet another incident in April 2014, she decided that she had had enough.

She sent her mother a long text message revealing the abuse. "I love Dad... but I hate Dad when he does that to me," she wrote.

After getting over the shock, her mother replied 12 minutes later: "I love you. You have me always."

  • Hurt is more than anyone can imagine: Victim

  • "Words have not even been invented for what he did to me," said the 16-year-old, when asked to tell the court of the effect of being sexually abused by her own father over two years.

    In her victim impact statement, which was submitted to court by the prosecution yesterday, the girl said she still suffers flashbacks and nightmares of what her father did to her.

    "There are days when it grips me. I am still in control and I am determined not to be defined by all these, but they will always be a huge part of my identity. There is no way around that."

    She said she was relieved when her mother believed her after she revealed the instances of abuse but felt frustrated at having paranoid feelings as if her father was still in the flat.

    She had trusted her father, but he hurt her "more than anyone can imagine - physically, mentally and emotionally".

    "He had clearly breached his responsibilities as a father."

    The girl said she felt baffled by her father's decision to claim trial, during which he slandered her by saying in court that she was framing him because he had scolded her. "I could not comprehend how he could have the guts to wound his own flesh and blood."

    She felt betrayed not only by her father, but also his family members who "seemed to accept" what he did to her without feeling apologetic or embarrassed.

    "They no longer differentiate the right from the wrong, just because 

    he is a member of their family. I do not see a slight manifestation of guilt or remorse, neither from him nor his family," she said.

    The girl's mother, in her statement to the court, expressed worry about how the abuse would taint her daughter's growth in relationship and sexuality matters. The administrative assistant, 41, also blamed herself for "missing all the signs" of the abuse.

    "The bottom dropped out of my world the day (my daughter) gathered enough courage to tell me about the sexual abuse... It is something I will never, ever be able to forget; it is a look that continues to haunt me today and reinforces my own feelings of failure.

    "For two years, I didn't even know that (my daughter) was suffering. For that two years, I didn't even know that our home was not a safe place for my children to stay."

    She said she was "truly disgusted" with what her former husband had done to her daughter. "My children respected him as their father. But the person who is supposed to protect us did not protect us, yet ruined our lives."

    Selina Lum

The next day, the woman threw her husband out of the flat. Three weeks later, she made a police report and filed for divorce.

The man claimed trial to 10 counts of sexual offences - one for committing an indecent act with a child, five for outrage of modesty and four for sexual assault by penetration - and was found guilty last month.

Yesterday, the prosecution sought a sentence of 24 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for his "campaign of abuse" in performing "despicable and humiliating" acts on his daughter.

Deputy Public Prosecutor April Phang said the man's "vexatious defence" about his "monstrous" sex organ was a "cock and bull story conceived purely as an afterthought to undermine the prosecution".

"It was really the victim's misfortune to have a sexual pervert for a father," said the prosecutor, adding that this was one of the most deplorable cases to come before the courts.

"Instead of the home being the safest place where the victim could find love, solace and trust, the accused made the home a living hell for the victim."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline '23 1/2 years' jail for man who sexually abused daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe