A 43-year-old security officer who sexually assaulted his young daughter was sentenced to four years and three months’ jail and five strokes of the cane on Thursday (Jun 30).
The man had repeatedly assaulted his daughter, then 12, over about 10 months before the abuse came to light in June last year.
He pleaded guilty to four counts, including two for outraging the modesty of his daughter and two for criminal intimidation of his ex-wife.
None of the family members can be named due to a gag order.
He first molested his daughter in September 2014, just before her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). The court heard that at about 10pm, he sent a WhatsApp message to his daughter, asking her to come to his bedroom.
When the victim opened the door and found the room in darkness, she turned to leave. Her father grabbed her from behind and slid his hand under her shirt. He assaulted her for about two minutes before he let her leave the room.
On another occasion in November 2014, after her PSLE, the girl received another WhatsApp message from her father, once again asking her to join him in his bedroom. The man pushed his daughter onto the bed and slid his hand under her shirt.
The girl did not raise any alarm, because she was frightened of her father and knew he had a temper, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said.
ASSAULT PREMEDITATED, PROSECUTOR SAYS
At the time of the incidents, the girl's parents had separated and were living apart, with the father caring for their three children.
The abuse came to light in June 2015, when the girl broke down and told her mother and grandmother what her father had been doing to her. She showed them her father’s messages, asking her to let him “sayang” her, referring to the Malay word for love. When she rejected her father’s advances, he told her to delete all his messages to her.
The girl’s mother confronted her husband, and in a fit of anger slapped and spit on the man, and hit him with a broomstick. The victim’s grandmother had to step in to separate the couple, and the man then chased his wife out of the house with a knife.
On a separate occasion in September 2014, he also told his wife that “if there was someone else who can take care of the children, I will not hesitate and I will kill you”.
The couple have since divorced.
DPP Kavita urged the court to impose a stiff jail term and caning, citing aggravating factors in the case. The DPP pointed out the abuse was clearly premeditated, as the man would wait until everyone in the house was asleep before assaulting his daughter.
The prosecutor also noted the father has shown no remorse, pointing to the fact that he told his daughter to delete all his messages to her. The man also admitted he knew it was wrong to molest his daughter, but that he had been “stressed out”, DPP Kavita said. “This is no justification for what he did to his daughter.”
Defence lawyer Siva S Krishnasamy said the victim “has forgiven (her father) or at the very best – may not have understood the significance of (the assaults)”. The lawyer added the victim is the “spitting image” of her mother, which could be “an explanation for (the man’s) misfeasance”.
Mr Siva said his client’s wife had “deserted him and the children to run off with other men”. As a single parent, he was stressed and depressed, the lawyer added.
“(His) children sorely miss their father and are eager for him to come home,” he said.