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A 45-year-old Singaporean man, who repeatedly raped and sexually abused four of his five biological daughters for one and a half decades, was sentenced to jail for 33 years and two months and given 24 strokes of the cane.
If he is ineligible under Singapore's two-third remission system, he would be released in 2052 when he is 75 years old.
He was supposed to be handed 36 strokes of the cane due to the severity of his offences, but the court could not impose that figure given the statutory maximum of 24 strokes.
The remaining 12 strokes were converted to seven extra months of prison time in the end.
"Offenders must not think they can get away with the statutory maximum of 24 strokes by committing numerous rapes and sexual assaults," High Court judge Tan Siong Thye said, according to CNA.
His sentence was meted out in High Court on Friday, March 18.
What judge said
During sentencing, Justice Tan laid bare the court's take regarding the sickening actions and impact of the man's crimes over many years that were carried out against his biological daughters.
The judge said, as reported by Today: "He destroyed the cherished values of sanctity and turned their home into a living hell. He caused unimaginable misery and untold torment for years."
The judge added that this case was "one of the worst cases" of rape and sexual assault to come before the courts.
CNA reported that the judge remarked that the "sheer number" of charges taken into consideration "speaks volumes about the accused's perverse exploitation of his own biological and vulnerable daughters".
The man was arrested on Nov. 17, 2018.
He first abused his daughter back in 2004.
His last known job was as a freelance camp instructor for children’s adventure camps.
His sentence was backdated to his date of arrest.
The accused and the victims all cannot be named due to a court imposed gag order to protect the victims.
The accused has seven children in total.
Five children are from his current marriage: Four daughters aged 12, 16, 18 and 19, as well as a son aged 15.
He married his current wife, now aged 41, in 2001.
The two oldest children, a 24-year-old daughter, and 23-year-old son, were from his previous marriage.
Judge explains his sentence
Justice Tan said the man "committed numerous horrific sexual assaults", Today reported.
He did not do anything to his youngest daughter, who is now 12, but used the others as sex objects.
The judged said: "I am to bear in mind the notorious difficulty of prosecuting intra-familial sexual abuse, which was clearly borne out by the prolonged time for his sexual assaults to be uncovered."
Justice Tan added that it was unacceptable that the accused sexually assaulted his daughters when their mother left the house at night to work the night shift.
"The abuse of trust in this manner is indubitably an aggravating factor," said the judge, who also said the man had sole care of the children.
Accused's actions suggested planning
Justice Tan also highlighted an instance of premeditation where the accused deliberately isolated one daughter from the rest of the family, CNA reported.
The man had taken his second youngest daughter to their new flat in Canberra, which was still under construction at the time, to rape her there.
When this second youngest daughter was in Primary 5 in 2016, Justice Tan said the accused "tried to normalise the idea of having sex" by showing her a pornographic video purportedly of a Primary 5 girl engaging in sex acts with her father, according to Today.
Then, in 2018, he told her that he would stop her from going to school, unless she has sex with him every month.
Dominated over everyone as seen by abuse of other family members
The judge described the man's actions of starving and abusing the other family members as "deplorable" and noted that the man "went to great lengths" to ensure they did not have any food or drinks.
The judge said the man's actions pointed to a "systematic isolation" and starvation that far exceeded "the threshold of mere discipline", CNA reported.
The "disturbing and tragic picture of dominance over his family" could be gleaned from the physical abuse he carried out, the judge said, Today reported.
Judge said man's guilty plea was self-serving
Justice Tan also had to decide if the accused's plea of guilt warranted leniency during sentencing.
The judged, CNA reported, decided against it as he was of the opinion that the man pleaded guilty for "self-serving" reasons given the insurmountable evidence piled up against him.
His trial was initially slated for late 2021.
The judge also took into account that the man was not going to admit to the sexual assaults, Today reported.
The accused was discovered to have searched for his daughters when he suspected they had gone to the police and he then visited 10 websites, and viewed one article, "4 Simple Ways to Cheat a Polygraph Test (Lie Detector)", it was previously reported.
The judge said this was so "as he wanted to lie and deny the charges", Today reported.
The judged also took into account that the man's second oldest daughter had gone to the police in 2015, but he got his wife to get the girl to lie to the authorities.
His eventual arrest came after a few of the daughters went to the police together in 2018.
Justice Tan said if there was any "residual mitigating weight" from his guilt plea, they were outweighed by the aggravating value of the charges taken into consideration for sentencing, according to Today.
Judge referred to victims' impact statements
The judge also referred to the victims' impact statements, Today reported.
The second-youngest daughter, who confided in her older sisters that she had been raped, subsequently blamed herself for her siblings not having a father, despite having her family's support, and has lost trust in men.
The third of five daughters, who is now 18, fears having a father figure at home again.
According to Today, Justice Tan said in court: "This is one of the worst cases of rape and sexual assault by penetration. He took complete advantage of his very young and biological daughters to satisfy his sexual perversion over a prolonged period."
Background of case
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