SINGAPORE, Aug 26 — After a man repeatedly sexually violated his 16-year-old granddaughter, his wife found out about his depraved acts and got him to promise not to do it again.
But he soon went back on his word, molesting the girl when she and her younger sister sought refuge in his home.
This was not the first time he had targeted his female relatives.
In 1999, he was jailed for 12 years and given 12 strokes of the cane for multiple sexual offences, including raping his own daughter — then aged 14 — and her 13-year-old friend.
The man, who used to work as a cleaner and is now aged 65, was jailed for two years and nine months yesterday (August 25).
This includes three months behind bars in lieu of six strokes of the cane. Under Singapore law, offenders aged 50 or above cannot be caned.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of outrage of modesty and one charge of exploitative sexual communication with a minor, with another five similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.
He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the identities of his victims, who also include the girl’s sister. They are now aged 17 and 18.
The court heard that the man’s older granddaughter periodically stayed over at his two-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat in Tampines.
In October 2019, when his wife — who worked night shifts — was out for work, he approached the girl who was lying on a sofa in the living room. He then suddenly kissed her on the mouth and made her perform a sex act on him.
She complied with his demand to keep silent about the matter as she was afraid of him.
Two months later, she moved into his flat after her mother chased her out of their house over a quarrel. She sought refuge there because she had nowhere else to stay, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chee Ee Ling told the court.
Shortly after this, when he and the girl were alone in the flat again, he asked her to perform a sex act on him, kissed her on the mouth and touched her chest over her clothes.
The victim’s younger sister also began living with them. He became their de-facto guardian from then on.
At various times, he walked around naked in the flat when their grandmother was not around.
Court documents showed that sometime that year, he insulted the younger girl’s modesty by asking her for sex.
In January 2020, the older girl could no longer keep the sexual abuse a secret and confided in her aunt, who in turn told the man’s wife. She reprimanded him and he apologised, promising not to sexually assault the victim again, but soon persisted in his actions.
On the evening of March 12 last year, the girl was having a meal in the living room when he showed her a pornographic video on his mobile phone, DPP Chee told the court.
When he molested her, she pushed his hands away and left the flat.
She made a police report two days later.
History of sex crimes
DPP Chee revealed that the man’s criminal history dated back to 1987, when he was fined S$1,500 (RM4,653) for possessing obscene videos.
In 1999, he was convicted of two charges each of rape, molestation and carnal intercourse against the order of nature. The latter offence falls under the 1985 revised edition of the Penal Code that was repealed in 2007.
These were committed against his daughter and four of her female friends, then aged 13 to 17.
At the time, 81 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. These comprised 63 of molestation, two of aggravated molestation, seven of rape, five of carnal intercourse, and two each of possessing uncensored films and obscene films.
He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
DPP Chee noted that his antecedents “show his proclivity for taking advantage of his biological descendants who are reliant on him”.
The man’s lawyer did not have anything to submit in terms of sentence, merely saying that he was a heart and diabetes patient who was seeking leniency.
District Judge Luke Tan agreed that imprisonment in lieu of caning was necessary due to the “really egregious nature” of his offences. “(It’s appropriate) for someone who has been through this system and was sentenced before to caning no less.”
He noted that even before the victims sought refuge in their grandfather’s home, there was already a “clear breach of trust and familial relationship”.
Anyone convicted of outrage of modesty can be jailed for up to two years or fined or caned, or receive any combination of the three.
For exploitative sexual communication with a minor, he could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both. ― TODAY