For more than a decade, a father terrorised his family by repeatedly raping or molesting his four daughters, while also physically abusing them and his wife.
He also once withheld food from some of the children for almost a week as punishment for not carrying out household chores to his satisfaction.
His offences only came to light when one of his daughters confided in her sisters, who persuaded her to file a police report.
On Monday (March 7), the 45-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty to his crimes in the High Court. He has been remanded since his arrest on Nov 17, 2018, and is set to be sentenced by Justice Tan Siong Thye next week.
The former freelance camp instructor for children’s adventure camps admitted to seven charges of aggravated rape, molestation and sexual assault by penetration in relation to the victim who had lodged the police report.
He cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect his victims’ identities.
The court heard that he had seven children in total — five from his current marriage and the oldest two from his previous one. He has been married to his wife, now aged 41, since 2001.
His children were listed in court documents as:
- A 24-year-old daughter, identified as V3
- A 23-year-old son
- A 19-year-old daughter, identified as V2
- An 18-year-old daughter, identified as V4
- A 16-year-old daughter, identified as V1
- A 15-year-old son, identified as V5
- A 12-year-old daughter
From around 2008, all of them lived together in an Ang Mo Kio flat before they moved to Canberra Street in Sembawang.
Conducted ‘body checks’ on daughters
Court documents showed that he began molesting and showing pornography to his oldest daughter, V3, in 2004 when she was seven years old.
He then physically and sexually abused her several times from 2010 to 2012, before raping her in 2018.
He also repeatedly raped and molested V2 between 2014 and 2018, and molested V4 on at least three separate occasions in 2018.
As for his wife, he caned her arm and punched and slapped her repeatedly in 2007 and 2013.
He also punched his son, V5, when the boy was aged between 10 and 12.
The court heard more details about V1, whom he began targeting in 2016 when she was in Primary 5. He showed her a video of a man and girl engaging in sexual acts and told her that the girl was the same age as her and that the man was her father.
He then abused her on several occasions in 2018, usually in the evenings when her mother was out working. He had made her “pinky-promise” not to tell anyone about this.
In 2018, he told her that she needed to have sex with him every month or he would stop her from going to school. This made her afraid of being home all day and potentially being sexually abused on more occasions.
She was afraid to tell anyone, fearing that nobody would believe her and she would be sent away to a girls’ home.
On at least two occasions in 2018, he also conducted “body checks” on her, V2 and V4. They were then aged around 13, 15 and 16 respectively.
Withheld food, cut off electricity for four days
That same year during the September school holidays, he got angry when the three older girls took their siblings to the playground before the household chores were completed to his satisfaction.
He did not allow the children to eat for the next four days and discarded all the food in their flat. He also banned his wife from cooking and dined out with her and other family members if they were hungry.
The children only managed to eat food that was smuggled to them without his knowledge. Their mother snuck some packets of chicken rice to them and hid some biscuits and potato chips in their letterbox.
Their father had bound large bottles of water in the refrigerator together with rubber bands so he would know if the children tampered with them.
He also cut off the electricity supply to their lights, refrigerator and air-conditioner.
The family was only allowed to resume eating and drinking as usual four days later, which was one of the children’s birthdays.
About two months later on Nov 17, V2 and V4 asked V1 what had happened when they saw her leaving the master bedroom.
When she broke down and confided in them, they left the flat under the pretence of discarding rubbish and went to Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre to lodge a police report.
They decided to lodge the report at a station far away from their home as they were concerned their father would look for them.
He did search for them at three police stations but could not find them. Investigators later discovered that he then visited 10 websites, including an article titled “4 Simple Ways to Cheat a Polygraph Test (Lie Detector)”.
Court documents showed that he asked his wife to persuade V2 to lie to the police, in order to exculpate himself.
He was arrested later that afternoon.
V1 was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she was warded for a week. She then stayed at a children’s home for about two weeks before returning home.
‘Chillingly brazen’ actions: DPPs
Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Muhamad Imaduddien, Sarah Siaw and Angela Ang sought 32 years’ jail and 24 cane strokes, noting that the accused’s actions were “chillingly brazen” and he had abused the victims sometimes even when their siblings were right outside the room.
He had also wanted to claim trial, which was set to begin in September last year before he indicated his intention to plead guilty. This meant that V1 had to repeatedly relive the abuse while trying to study for her N-Level examinations, the DPPs said.
The prosecutors made reference to victim impact statements from V1, V2 and V4. The youngest girl expressed how she blamed herself for her siblings no longer having a father.
The DPPs argued: “The loss of their innocence and childhood is one that can never be reversed; the indelible harm that has been visited upon each victim, and their family as a whole, is something that no sentence can fully capture and no punishment can erase.
“Had he not been arrested, his fifth and youngest daughter — who was only nine at the time — may well have fallen victim too.”
The accused’s pro bono lawyers, Ng Pei Qi and Sadhana Rai, sought 26 to 28 years’ jail and 24 strokes.
Those convicted of statutory rape can be jailed at least eight years and up to 20 years, and given at least 12 strokes of the cane. — TODAY