SINGAPORE - A 42-year-old man who was originally sentenced to 28 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually abusing his stepdaughter has been found medically unfit for caning.
The High Court on Monday (July 13) imposed an additional year's jail in lieu of caning.
Justice Tan Siong Thye found that the extra jail time was warranted, saying that the man had committed a "very serious and heinous crime".
The man, a warehouse assistant, had abused his stepdaughter over a period of seven years at the family's one-room Housing Board flat.
The parties are not named to protect the identity of the victim.
He first molested her when she was six years old, and over the years, the abuse escalated to more intrusive acts.
Once, when she told him to stop groping her, he retorted that her body was his and he could touch her anywhere he wanted.
When she was 10, she learnt from her Primary 5 classmates who went for sex education classes that the acts were wrong. Her parents had disapproved of her attending the classes and had opted out of them.
She eventually mustered the courage to report the offences in 2018 when she was 12, after resisting his latest attempt to violate her while she was getting ready for school.
In January, the man pleaded guilty to one charge of raping the girl in 2014 when she was eight or nine years old, and two charges of sexual assault by penetration committed in 2016 when she was 11.
Another 12 charges for various sexual offences were taken into consideration.
After he was sentenced, he was certified unfit for caning due to a spine condition.
Under the law, when an offender is found unfit to be caned, the court may remit the sentence of caning or impose an additional jail term of up to 12 months.
On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling argued that the maximum term should be imposed, citing past cases.
Defence counsel Henry Lim urged the court not to impose any more jail time.