Singapore court found a 34-year-old man guilty on Monday for sexually abusing his girlfriend's eight-year-old daughter in 2014 and sentenced him 12 years and six months if imprisonment, including 15 strokes of the cane.
The unnamed convict has faced three charges that include one count of committing an indecent act with a minor, one count of outraging the modesty of a minor under 14 and one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
As court documents stated, in 2009 he started the romantic relationship with the victim's mother, who was separated from her first husband. Later, in 2012, the accused and the woman moved into a rental flat in Tampines, along with their two children, one girl and boy, who died before he turned a year old. After that, they continued to stay with their baby girl and the woman's own daughter.
However, the High court heard that apart from this family the accused was also married to another woman, with whom he had a son. He regularly stayed with his first family and the mother of the victim knew that fact. But, the unnamed accused used to behave with the victim just like her own father as well as a disciplinarian.
The court documents also stated that the abnormal behaviour started in June 2014, when the victim was supposed to enjoy her school holidays. At that time the man used to work as a despatch rider for courier service firm called Koli Express.
That month, the victim was at home, while her step-sister was at a childcare centre and the accused was medical leave. One day, the man asked the eight-year-old child to massage his legs. She was doing that as well as watching videos on her phone.
While massaging, unintentionally she touched the accused's genitals over his boxer shorts and after that, the man forced him to perform a sexual act on him. In that same month, the accused again made her perform another sexual act on him without her consent and kissed her, then molested her at their house.
Next day the victim described the incident to a neighbour, who later advised her to repeat the same incident and record the vulgar conversation on her phone. When she recorded the similar incident and played it for the mother of two girls, the woman confronted the man about the sexual abuse and he accepted the wrongdoings.
The mother of two threw the man out of the unit but let him in again after the convict begged for a forgiveness. But, no police complaint was made as the victim did not report did not report any further incidents after that.
But, in February 2016, after discovering that the accused had hit the child and caused injuries to her head, the girl's grandmother, who came to know about the sexual abuse and lodged a police report. During giving the statement, the victim told the police about the sexual abuse and incidents of penetration over several occasions in 2014. In March 2016, the man was arrested.
During the hearing on Monday, the man pleaded guilty and the deputy public prosecutor Winston Man urged for a sentence of 14 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane. However, the defence lawyer Dhanwant Singh asked for the minimum punishment of a jail term up to eight years and 12 strokes of the cane. Usually a punishment in such cases that involves a minor aged victim, under 14, the accused is liable for serving a jail term up to 20 years.
But, the mother of the victim had written a letter to the judge that stated the accused was a dutiful and responsible man. She also wrote that even though she was disappointed and heartbroken due to his actions, the accused wants to become a good father and their baby needs her father.