29 years' jail for man who sexually abused daughter

He started touching his daughter sexually when she was as young as five years old, and when she was around 11, he started having unprotected sex with her.

The abuse took place at least once a month, and it was only when the girl was 16 that she realised what her father had been doing to her was wrong.

Yesterday, the man, now 51, was sentenced to 29 years' jail after he pleaded guilty to two charges of statutory rape and one charge of aggravated sexual assault by penetration. Six other sexual offence charges were considered during sentencing by Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim, who said the man's actions were "clearly and totally reprehensible".

The prison sentence includes a one-year term in lieu of the maximum 24 strokes of the cane he would have received had he not been over the age of 50. He cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, who is now 18 .

The High Court heard that the man, who has a younger son with his wife, began sexually exploiting the girl in 2006, when she was five to six. Over the years, the abuse continued and escalated, and in 2009, he began performing oral sex on her.

In December 2011, he took both children to his sister's flat for a Christmas sleepover, during which he sexually violated the victim, who was then 11, in the guest bedroom. After this incident, he started having sexual intercourse with her.

The abuse tapered off at the end of 2015 and in January 2016, he stopped having sex with her.

Around this time, the girl realised that her father's actions were wrong but felt confused. She was also worried that her family would break up if she told her mother.

But after being encouraged to do so by a close friend in whom she had confided, the girl told her mother about the abuse in May 2017.

 
 

Her mother arranged for the girl to stay with an aunt. A week later, she took her to make a police report. The man was arrested the next day.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew sought at least 30 years' jail and an additional year's jail in lieu of caning.

The DPP said the accused had exploited the inherent vulnerability of a young child who could not appreciate the nature of the acts or had reason to think that her own father had ill intentions towards her.

The man's assigned lawyer, Mr Sherman Ho, said his client is genuinely remorseful and has been trying to change for the better after turning to religion. Mr Ho said his client understands his family has disowned him and hopes to reconnect with them after he is released from jail.

The maximum prison sentence for statutory rape is 20 years' jail, which is the same for aggravated sexual assault by penetration.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2019, with the headline '29 years' jail for man who sexually abused daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe