Reported by Today Online on 7 February 2020
A cleaner was jailed for 24 years on 7 February after pleading guilty to 3 counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
The Accused was a 55-year old, who worked as a cleaner. The victim was his stepdaughter. He was found to have been abusing her for over 6 years, from the time she was 8 years old. The offences that were proceeded upon included digital penetration with his finger. The offences which were taken into consideration include 3 attempted rape charges and 3 other digital penetration charges.
The offences had only come to light in 2018 when the Victim was hospitalized for a panic attack, and diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder.
It came to light that the Accused, who would be home alone with the Victim for extended periods of time in the afternoons after her school, had continually assaulted her in her own bed, sometimes up to 2 to 3 times a week. It persisted even after she had moved from sleeping in the lower bunk to the upper bunk of her bed, thinking that the assault would stop; it did not.
The abuse only ceased when the Accused was jailed in 2014 for other drug-related offences.
Both the prosecution and the Accused’s solicitors, Ms Gloria James and Ms Beverly Lim, sought a prison term of 24 years. Typically, sexual assault by penetration carries with it at least 12 strokes of the cane in addition to a jail term. The prosecution submitted for an additional imprisonment term of no less than 12 months in lieu of the caning, which could not be carried out in light of the Accused’s age. The solicitors objected to this.
The Accused faced 12 years’ imprisonment for each of the charges, with the sentence for 2 of the charges to run concurrently, based on the totality principle (bringing the total sentence to 24 years). Under section 376(4)(b) of the Penal Code (Cap 224), he could have faced 8 to 20 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane per charge.