Man raped granddaughter, 11, at staircase landing: She still has flashbacks and is scared of older men

Selina Lum
The Straits Times
July 10, 2023

After a family dinner celebrating his wife’s birthday, a 65-year-old man took his 11-year-old granddaughter to a staircase landing and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

It was not the first time the man had sexually assaulted the girl.

He began molesting her when she was 10, and for more than 1½ years, committed various sexual offences against her.

On Monday, the man, who is now 68, was sentenced to 12 years’ jail after he pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of rape for the staircase landing incident on July 10, 2020.

The definition of rape in the Penal Code was expanded in 2020 to include oral and anal penetration without consent.

His sentence includes a six-month term in lieu of caning. The rape offence carries at least 12 strokes of the cane, but the man cannot be caned as he is more than 50 years old.

Eight other charges, for sexual offences committed between June 2019 and January 2021, were taken into consideration during sentencing.

They include a second rape charge as well as charges for molesting the girl, showing her a pornographic image on his mobile phone, and exposing himself to her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lee Da Zhuan told the court that the victim visited her grandfather and her step-grandmother at the couple’s flat regularly on Sundays, together with the girl’s mother, stepfather and step-siblings.

On July 10, 2020, nine members of the family, including the victim and her grandfather, went to a shopping mall to celebrate the birthday of the girl’s step-grandmother.

After dinner, the family members headed to the couple’s flat, and the victim’s step-grandmother told the girl to accompany the man to buy durians at a nearby stall.

The victim agreed to go with him. On their way back to the flat, the man took the girl to a staircase landing, which was one flight of stairs up from the ground floor.

She turned away when he kissed her. He then pulled her jeans down and molested her.

The prosecutor said: “The victim felt disgusted and nauseated.” 

The girl pulled her pants up and wanted to walk away, but the man grabbed her wrist and pulled her back. He then forced her to perform oral sex on him.

After the sexual acts, the man took her back to the ground floor.

The prosecutor said the girl did not fully understand the nature of her grandfather’s actions, and only subsequently learnt about “good touch” and “bad touch” in her Primary 6 sex education classes. 

She felt very angry about the sexual offences, but was not able to confide in a trusted adult, added the prosecutor.

“She was very close to her grandfather when she was younger, but now does not like him because of the sexual offences he committed against her.”

On Jan 25, 2021, the girl was referred to a school counsellor after she told her form teacher about a disagreement with her mother.

She told the counsellor that her grandfather had committed sexual acts against her.

The counsellor then contacted the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

The next day, child protection officers took the girl to make a police report. The man was arrested the same day.

On Monday, DPP Michelle Tay said the victim suffered serious emotional and psychological harm as a result of the man’s acts.

In a victim impact statement, the girl said she had nightmares about what her grandfather did to her. She also tried to harm herself and had to undergo counselling for suicidal thoughts.

The girl added that she is getting better, but still has flashbacks and is scared of older men. She added that she feels anxious and has sweaty palms whenever an old man sits beside her on the bus.

Defence counsel Mohamad Hasbu Haneef Abdul Malik sought not more than 10 years’ jail, highlighting that the man had pleaded guilty and was of advanced age.


Mental well-being

  • Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)

  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)

  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

  • Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928

  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 

  • Community Health Assessment Team: 6493-6500/1


  • TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252

  • TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers): 6804-6555

  • Care Corner Counselling Centre: 6353-1180

  • Counselling and Care Centre: 6536-6366

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