A man who was convicted of sexually abusing four of his children over the course of 14 years had his appeal against his sentence rejected by the Court of Appeal on Friday (9 September).
In March, the guy, who is 45 years old and cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the identity of his daughters, was given a prison sentence that lasted 33 years and two months. In addition to that, he received the maximum possible caning of 24 strokes.
After pleading guilty to seven crimes, including aggravated rape, aggravated sexual assault including penetration, aggravated outrage of modesty, and ill-treatment of a child, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. During the sentence process, another 26 counts were taken into consideration.
Between the years 2004 and 2018, he sexually attacked or raped four of his daughters. In 2018, he became furious with his daughters and starved them for five days as a form of punishment.
The court described his torture as “horrific” and stated that it was “one of the worst incidents of rape and sexual assault” he had ever seen when he sentenced him.
On Friday, the guy filed his own appeal against the sentence, requesting that the prison term be reduced from 33 years and two months to between 28 and 30 years instead of serving the original sentence of 33 years and two months.
The man addressed the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, as well as Justices Judith Prakash and Tay Yong Kwang, through an interpreter, and said, “I am pleading with your honors to reduce my current sentence if possible.”
“I wish to reiterate that I am a first-time criminal and I’m not a repeat offender, and as such I’m asking for a reduction in my sentence,” said the guy. “I wish to reiterate that I am a first-time offender and I’m not a repeat offender.” He continued by saying that he was not “requesting to be released.”
Chief Justice Menon stated, “Well, he may say he is a first-time offender, but the offenses took over a period starting 2004 and continuing until 2015 and so for a long period, in fact it went all the way up to 2018, and there were 33 charges in all.” The offenses took place over a period starting 2004 and continuing until 2015 and so for a long period, in fact it went all the way up to 2018, and there were 33 charges in total.
According to him, a dozen of the allegations were sexual offenses “committed against his own children,” which means that this case cannot be viewed as a one-time, isolated incident of negligence.
According to the Chief Justice, “continuous behavior conducted over a lengthy period” is what constitutes criminal behavior.
Following this, the appellant started speaking about how some of the evidence in his case is “unclear.” He questioned why one of the victims denied some sort of medical examination, and he stated that it “would not be fair” for the court to impose such a sentence if the evidence was ambiguous. He also argued that the court should not give him such a punishment.
“For example, if there is no clear example with regard to the case… the DNA from one clothes may be transferred to another person’s clothes, but that does not mean (it) comes from me your honor, it could be another person,” said the man. “For example, if there is no clear example with regard to the case… the DNA from one clothes may be transferred to another person’s clothes,” said the man.
According to the Chief Justice, the guy was appealing not his conviction but rather his punishment, and the Chief Justice also stated that there was “no dispute about his guilt in this affair.”
Chief Justice Menon stated that she would not listen to any arguments on the clarity of the evidence because the conviction will be upheld regardless of the clarity of the evidence.
The individual then provided a further justification for his hope that his sentence would be shortened while he was in jail.
“I really want to be able to go on my little pilgrimage, so I hope that it will be possible. If I’m released later, when I’m above the age of 65 or later, I’m concerned I won’t have the strength to complete my voyage,” he remarked.
Chief Justice Menon stated that this “doesn’t make any difference” because the reduction in sentence that he was requesting was around two years and he did not believe that there was any relation to this.
He then declared, “We dismiss the appeal. The evaluation made by the judge is completely accurate.”
The judge who handed down the sentence said at the time that the guy had started engaging in sexual misconduct with his children while his oldest daughter was only six or seven years old, and that only his youngest daughter had been spared.
By taking one of his daughters to the family’s new apartment while it was still being built and raping her there, he had purposefully worked to drive a wedge between her and the other of her sisters. When she was in Primary 5, he showed her pornography in an attempt to normalize the abuse he had been doing on her and to groom her for sexual activity.
The court who handed down the sentence had previously mentioned that “nothing will restore the victims’ innocence or compensate for their sorrow.”