Man appeals 23-and-a-half years' jail sentence for sexually abusing daughter

SINGAPORE - A 42-year-old food stall assistant, who sexually abused his biological daughter in the family flat for more than two years, was on Monday (March 20) sentenced to 23½ years jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.

He is appealing against conviction and sentence and has been granted $150,000 bail pending his appeal hearing.

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

He denied the charges. Among other things, his lawyer argued it was "highly improbable" for him to have committed some of the acts, given the size and condition of his penis, which is deformed from an enlargement procedure.

However, this was rejected by Judicial Commissioner Aedit Abdullah, who found him guilty last month of all 10 charges, including four counts of sexual assault by penetration.

On Monday, the prosecution sought a sentence of 24 years and 24 strokes of the cane for the man for his "campaign of abuse" in performing "degrading" acts on his daughter.

Deputy Public Prosecutor April Phang said the man's "vexatious defence" about the size of his penis 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 DPP, adding that this is one of the most deplorable cases to come before the courts.

She submitted victim impact statements from the girl and the man's ex-wife to show how his acts offences had affected them.

The girl, now 16, said of her father: "He had hurt me more than anyone can imagine, physically, mentally and emotionally. For two years, I have had to live with what he had done to me. He had clearly breached his responsibilities as a father. Words have not even been invented for what he did to me."

The girl's mother noted that she had "missed all the signs" that her eldest daughter was suffering for two years. "The bottom dropped out of my world the day (the victim) gathered enough courage to tell me about the sexual abuse," she said.

"I am truly disgusted for what (the accused) had done to my daughter... He had a faithful wife and well-behaved children... But the person who is supposed to protect us did not protect us, yet ruined our lives."

Most of the abuse took place in the master bedroom where the girl used the computer for school projects. Her father would ensure the door was closed and locked before carrying out the sex acts.

The girl said she kept quiet as she was afraid the family would break up. But she decided she had enough after yet another assault on April 15, 2014.

She sent her mother a long text message revealing the abuse. After getting over the shock, her mother replied 12 minutes later: "I love you. You have me always."

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

After the sentence was passed, the girl said she was glad that her father would get the maximum strokes of caning.

"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 girl, who came to court in her school uniform.

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

This article was first published on March 20, 2016.
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