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The Straits Times
June 22, 2021
He was the sole caregiver to his granddaughter while both her parents were in jail for drug offences.
But he molested her repeatedly when she was just nine years old.
Between 2012 and 2013, the man, now 69, would give her massages and touch her inappropriately while her six siblings slept in the next room.
The offences came to light in 2017 when a neighbour was investigated for sexually abusing the girl, who is now 18. The neighbour has been dealt with and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment and 16 strokes of the cane.
On Tuesday (June 22), the grandfather, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, was sentenced to five years' jail for two counts of outraging the modesty of a minor under the age of 14.
Two other similar charges were taken into consideration by District Judge John Ng during sentencing.
Deputy public prosecutors Angela Ang and Asoka Markandu described it as "an appalling case where the accused capitalised on his young granddaughter's vulnerability and dependence on him to perpetuate a series of perverse acts on her to satiate his lust".
The court heard that some time in 2012, the victim, who was then in Primary 4, was aching after playing soccer.
That night, while her siblings were sleeping in the Housing Board flat, her grandfather massaged her with baby oil and touched her inappropriately.
After this incident, he continued giving her these "massages" at night when her siblings were sleeping and would molest her for about five to 10 minutes each time.
In 2013, when the girl was between 10 and 11 years old, the grandfather called her into the bedroom and told her to lie on the bed. He climbed on top of her after removing his clothes as well as hers. He also fondled her.
The man stopped these acts only some time before the girl's mother was released from prison in 2014.
The prosecutors told the court that the girl had initially remained silent about her grandfather's acts as he was the only one supporting their family financially and she did not wish to cause the family to suffer hardship.
An Institute of Mental Health psychiatric report found that the man was not a paedophile, but displayed a risk of reoffending as he showed no remorse for his actions.
The prosecution urged the court to impose a jail term of five years and six months, calling the offences an abuse of trust "at the highest order".
"The accused betrayed the trust given to him by sexually assaulting the victim within the confines of her own home," said DPP Ang.