A man who sexually assaulted and molested his young niece over five years was jailed 10 years and nine months on Tuesday (19 June).
The 62-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to two molest charges and a charge of attempted sexual assault by penetration.
Four other molest charges and another charge of attempted sexual assault by penetration were taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Asoka Markandu told the court that after the man’s wife died, the man and his daughter moved into his brother-in-law’s house. The victim, who called the man ayah (father in Malay), is the brother-in-law’s daughter.
Sometime in early 2012 between 4pm and 5pm, when the entire family was at home, the man called his niece into his room to watch television.
While she was watching, he slipped his hands underneath her shirt and fondled her breasts for a few minutes. The man then inserted his hands into her pants and panties to rub her private parts. He only stopped when someone called his name.
In mid-2012, the man asked the niece to watch TV in his room and again molested her on her breasts and private parts.
This time, he also got her to lie on his bed. He then removed her pants and underwear, and tried to sodomise her. This went on for a few minutes before the girl put on her clothes and left. She didn’t inform anyone about the incidents.
There were no such incidents between 2013 and 2015 but in 2016, the man molested his niece twice. After the niece sought help in school, her father was informed and he lodged a police report the next day.
The victim felt “shocked, uncomfortable, and confused,” and will probably be scarred for life, said DPP Asoka. He asked for 10 years’ jail and an additional nine months’ jail in lieu of caning as the man is above 50 and cannot be caned.
Speaking through an interpreter, the man, who was unrepresented, said he that was “truly truly sorry” for his “despicable” act. Citing his poor health and age, he said, “I have nowhere to put my face”.
District Judge Mathew Joseph slammed the man’s actions and said, “She called you ayah yet you shamelessly, audaciously abused her trust and the trust of the family who offered you shelter and safety… instead you proceeded to terrorise her.”