After raping his biological daughter multiple times, even when his wife was battling cancer, a father of four children was sentenced to 24 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane, the statutory maximum, yesterday (8 August).
The father, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his daughter’s identity, pleaded guilty to three charges of rape.
Apart from that, another eight other charges, including one charge of rape, three of outrage of modesty and four of sexual assault by penetration were taken into consideration during the 44-year-old man’s sentencing.
He conducted the offences between October and December 2019 on his then-14-year-old daughter, who is now 17 years old.
He has three other children, with the victim being the second oldest daughter. The children’s mother has also since passed away due to her health condition.
Started to Molest Her Before Raping Her in 2019
According to court proceedings, the man began to molest his daughter in May 2019.
After a few months, he began performing penetrative acts on her and raping her from October 2019 onwards.
He did so on three occasions: once at night in October 2019, once at night in November 2019 and once past midnight on 2 December of the same year.
The victim initially shared a room with her younger sister, while her older sister shared a room with their younger brother.
Her father would then wait until everyone else in the house was asleep before he went into the victim’s bedroom to sexually assault her.
He would then rape her after that.
The victim’s younger sister was asleep next to her during the incidents, and the victim herself would pretend that she was asleep every time her father sexually assaulted and raped her.
Mother Walked In On Man in December 2019
After the man raped the victim on 2 December 2019, the victim’s mother happened to walk in on her husband, who was completely naked below the waist.
Upon seeing her husband kneeling by her daughter’s bed, she started to hit him and asked how he could have done such as thing.
This caused the victim to cry, and her sister was soon woken up after that as well.
The man then proceeded to apologise to his wife and exited the bedroom right after that.
Acts Stopped After Mother Changed the Children’s Sleeping Arrangements
After witnessing the incident, the victim’s mother decided to make changes to her children’s sleeping arrangements.
Instead of having two children share a room, the victim and her sister moved rooms so that all four children slept together in the same room.
This allowed the sexual acts to stop for the time being.
Man Attempted to Enter Room Again When Wife Was Hospitalised
Despite the change in sleeping arrangements, the man tried to enter his children’s bedroom again when his wife was hospitalised for her lymphoma treatment.
After his wife was hospitalised on 1 September 2020, the man went into his children’s room again at night.
However, his son sneezed, prompting him to exit the room after he heard the sound.
Mother Confronted Husband After Daughter Sent Texts to Inform Her
Even though the victim did not confront her father during the incident, she texted her mother the next day.
She informed her mother about what had happened at home the previous night, and told her that her father had tried to enter her bedroom at night when the children were sleeping.
After a few days, the woman was discharged from the hospital.
She then confronted her husband about what had happened on the night of her hospitalisation.
She also asked him why he had entered the children’s bedroom, but the man kept quiet and did not say anything about it.
Mother Applied for PPO and Filed Police Report in 2020
Later that year on 16 September, the woman decided to file both a police report and Personal Protection Order (PPO) against her husband for her children.
She brought her daughter to the police station, and she revealed to police officers that her father had raped her in 2019.
The mother also applied for a PPO for her children against their father to ensure their safety if she was not around.
The children’s mother passed away in 2021 due to her health issues.
According to The Straits Times, the family’s relatives are helping to care for the children now.
Victim Did Not Report Father Due to Fear of Worrying Mother
According to Deputy Public Prosecutors Shen Wanqin and Benjamin Samynathan, the victim did not come forth to report her father’s behaviour as she thought that the family depended on her father financially, especially after her mother began treatment for her cancer.
She also did not want to worry or upset her mother while she was receiving treatment.
Apart from that, she was also fearful of her father and what he might do to her if she fought back.
In particular, she thought that he would be stronger than her if she had tried to fight back against his actions on her.
Man Had No History of Mental Illness
After his arrest, the man underwent an assessment conducted by a psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
Based on the findings of the assessment, he had no history of mental illness.
The assessment also showed that he was not of unsound mind when he committed the offences, and he was deemed to be not intellectually disabled either.
Remarks Made of the Man in Court
During the sentencing, High Court judge Dedar Singh Gill told the court, “It goes without saying that rape is a serious crime. The worst type of rape, however, is where a father rapes his biological daughter who, because of her age, is a vulnerable victim.
“A heinous crime of this nature creates turmoil in the family. It visits upon the victim and other family members decisions they should not have to make.”
He then noted that “a wrong decision” could result in the man continuing with his actions without being punished, meaning that the victim would have to continue suffering.
With regards to the fact that the victim did not report her father due to her concerns about the family’s financial circumstances, he said, “No young girl should find herself in this position.”
The judge also pointed out that the victim’s mother adjusted her children’s sleeping arrangements, but did not report her husband’s actions after realising what he had done.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Benjamin Samynathan echoed similar sentiments, raising the issue of how the man had betrayed the trust of his own daughter and how the girl was vulnerable when he did so.
The prosecution then sought the sentence that was eventually imposed on the man, saying, “No child should be exploited in such a manner, particularly by the very ones they trust and look to for love and protection.”
Mr Samynathan also emphasised that the man committed several of the offences after his wife began treatment for her cancer and that it was a stressful time for the victim.
Additionally, he highlighted that he continued attempting to commit the offences again when his wife was hospitalised even after his wife caught him red-handed.
Man’s Lawyer Said He is “Truly Apologetic and Ashamed”
On the other hand, Defence counsel Vigneesh Nainar asked for a reduced jail term of 22 to 24 years.
He also told the court that his client is “truly apologetic and ashamed” for his actions, and revealed that his family has “condemned him” after his actions came to light.
Mr Nainar also shared that the man has since acknowledged that his children do not wish to be in contact with their father anymore, and that they “despite him”.
“This loss in itself is a punishment for him,” Mr Nainar mentioned.
In Singapore, those convicted of rape face up to 20 years in jail, and a fine or caning.
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