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Criminal Law – Rape Criminal Procedure and Sentencing

3 min read
Yue Roger Jr v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 12
Decision Date: 22 February 2019
Court: Court of Appeal
Judges: Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA; Judith Prakash JA; Steven Chong JA
Criminal Law – Offences – Rape
Criminal Procedure and Sentencing – Sentencing

The appellant, Roger Yue Jr, was convicted by the High Court of seven charges at trial and sentenced to a global imprisonment term of 25 years: –

  1. Two charges for rape of a minor under 14 years of age, punishable under s 375(1)(b) read with s 375(2) of the Penal Code; and
  2. Five charges for sexual penetration of a minor under 14 years of age, punishable under s 376A(1)(a)/s 376A(1)(b) read with s 376A(3) of the Penal Code.

Court of Appeal Decision
1. Conviction

  1. The trial judge was right to find that the victim’s testimony was on the whole believable and credible.
    • The appellant had adduced no evidence to show that the victim had any motive to falsely accuse him.
    • Fact that the victim did not complain in a timely manner and remained in contact with the victim did not rob her of credibility. A child may react very differently from an adult.
    • The appellant never raised the point that psychiatric evidence was needed to evaluate the victim’s behaviour. There is no basis for the appellant to now argue for that.
  2. The trial judge was right to find that the Prosecution had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant’s second statement to the police had been given voluntarily.
    • The appellant was not threatened to give the statement, and was oppressed when he gave the statements. His allegations of oppression were mere afterthoughts and raised late.
  3. The victim’s testimony and the appellant’s statement to the police were fully corroborated by the very detailed case notes and report of the psychiatrist who interviewed the appellant for the purpose of a psychiatric assessment..
  4. Trial judge was right in not drawing any adverse inference against the Prosecution.
    • The victim’s non-contemporaneous word documents, and psychiatric report of the victim were not material pieces of evidence. The victim’s former boyfriends and the uncle of the victim whom she confided to were not material witnesses.

2. Sentence

  • Global imprisonment of term of 25 for charges above is not excessive.
  • The appellant was in his early fifties and exploited his position as the victim’s coach and carried out such acts to a vulnerable victim. Offences were premeditated by appellant.
  • Court did not make any comments on general sentencing approach for offences charged and the appropriate sentencing approach as the imposition of the global imprisonment term of 25 years would have been arrived at regardless of the approaches used.

Conclusion

  • There was no basis to disturb the trial judge’s conviction of the appellant of the two charges for rape and his appeal against conviction is dismissed.
  • There was no basis to disturb the trial judge’s decision to sentence the appellant to a global imprisonment term of 25 years.

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