A grandfather who molested and sexually abused his daughter’s seven-year-old son over two years was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday (22 June).
The 64-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his grandson’s identity, had also morally corrupted his grandson by showing him pornography as a precursor to the sexual penetration and molest on two occasions, said the prosecution as part of its submissions for sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Winston Man and N K Anitha asked the High Court for a jail term of at least 12 years.
The prosecution also argued for the need to deter the man, who “demonstrated a degree of persistence in sexually abusing his grandson” in the family home.
However the man’s lawyer, Derek Kang, argued that the sexual penetration had only lasted a matter of seconds and that only the tip of his finger had gone through.
The man had also been diagnosed by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist as neither paedophilic nor homosexual, which meant that the man did not derive sexual gratification from the acts, said the lawyer.
As for deterrence, the man has been “cast out” by his family, save for his wife, and has no access to his grandson, now aged 10, said Kang.
“He is unlikely to have access again to his grandson until (the boy) is of old enough age to voluntarily seek contact with (the man),” said Kang, who sought less than ten years’ jail for his client.
Judicial Commissioner Pang Khang Chau said that while the man’s guilty plea and remorse were mitigating factors, his being a heterosexual and not a paedophile was irrelevant towards sentencing.
He agreed with the prosecution that abuse of trust was an aggravating factor.
JC Pang added that he did not consider 12 years to be a “crushing” sentence as the man had a possibility of being released at 71 for good behaviour.
While the accused earlier pleaded guilty to one count of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person under the age of 14, and one count of sexual penetration of a person under 14, two counts of showing obscene videos to the boy and another count of outrage of modesty were considered for his sentence.
The facts of the case
The first incident occurred sometime in February or March 2015 as the man was watching television with the boy in their flat.
The man asked his grandson to follow him into his bedroom before they lay on the bed together. The man then pulled the boy towards him and kissed his face and neck, then molested the boy while undressing him.
The man panicked when he heard the family’s maid calling for the boy outside the room. He hurriedly told the boy to get dressed and to keep mum on the incident as it would cause problems for his parents.
The man served a stint in the Drug Rehabilitation Centre from 1 December 2015 to 18 September 2016.
Ten days after his release, the man sexually assaulted his grandson after having undressed both himself and the boy. He showed the boy pornography before sexually assaulting the latter. He only stopped after the boy said that he was in pain. The man then hugged the boy and repeated his instructions not to tell anyone about the incident.
The offences came to light on 22 October 2016 when the boy’s mother told him to rest early or he would be left at home with his grandfather when the family visited a temple early the next day.
The boy then said he did not want to stay at home with his grandfather as the man had molested him. Shocked, the boy’s mother confronted her father, who confessed to his actions. A police report was lodged the next day.
For molesting a person under 14 years old, he could have been jailed up to five years and/or fined.
For sexual assault by penetration of a person under 14, the man could have been jailed eight to 20 years, or with fine. He cannot be caned as he is over 50.
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