A 64-year-old maternal grandfather was sentenced to 12 years in jail yesterday after he pleaded guilty to committing sexual offences against his grandson on two separate occasions when the boy was aged seven and eight. The man escaped the cane since he is above the age of 50.
Both the perpetrator and the victim cannot be named due to a court-mandated gag order.
The court heard that the first incident occurred in March 2015. Three months prior to this incident, the culprit’s daughter, her husband ans their son had moved back in with her parents.
In the first incident, the culprit asked the victim – who had been watching television – to follow him into a bedroom when the pair were alone at home. The man kissed his grandson and undressed him on the bed before undressing himself and molesting the boy.
The man abruptly stopped when he heard the family’s domestic helper return home. Instructing the boy to put on his clothes, the man reportedly warned the boy to keep silent about what had happened “as it would create problems with his parents.”
Months passed without further incident. Then, in December, the culprit stayed at a drug rehabilitation centre where he remained until 18 Sept 2016. A mere 10 days after his release, the man sexually assaulted his grandson – now 8 – again.
This time, the man asked the boy to follow him into the bedroom when the pair were alone at home and lay on the bed with the boy before undressing the child and himself. The man then proceeded to sexually assault the child with his finger, stopping only when the boy felt pain and cried out.
The man again instructed the boy to not tell anyone about what had happened. He washed his finger in the bathroom adjoined to the bedroom before re-entering the bathroom to masturbate.
The victim’s plight only came to light a month after the second incident. The child was due to visit a temple with his family early one morning. The night before the temple visit, the boy’s mother told him that he would have to stay alone at home with his grandfather if he was too tired to wake up in time.
It was at this point that the boy responded that he did not want to be alone with his grandfather and revealed that the elderly man had molested him. The boy’s grandfather confessed that he had committed the offenses and asked for forgiveness when his daughter confronted him as the victim began crying.
The victim’s mother made a police report the very next day.
Pleading for a reduced sentence of eight years in jail, the defence argued that the sexual assault was “brief” and “limited” and that the man had used only the tip of his finger. The defence also cited an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist who reported that the accused was not a homosexual nor a paedophile.
Ruling that the IMH psychiatrist’s assessment is irrelevant for sentencing, Judicial Commissioner Pang Khang Chau accepted the accused’s plea of guilt and his remorse as mitigating factors in sentencing the elderly man to 12 years imprisonment. He added that the abuse of trust and moral corruption were aggravating factors.
Three other charges, including showing the boy pornography, were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The grandfather could have been faced 5 years jail, caning and/or a fine for using criminal force to molest his grandson, a minor. He could have have faced a maximum of 20 years in jail and a minimum of 20 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting a minor.
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