SINGAPORE: A 48-year-old man drove his teenage niece to a car park instead of taking her to school, asked her to sit on his lap and kissed her repeatedly on the neck. When she tried to pull away, he tightened his hug.
The man, who cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the victim’s identity, was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail on Thursday (Oct 22) for one count of an indecent act with a child.
The court heard that the man had “a close relationship” with the victim, who looked up to him when growing up and treated him as her father.
The man would express his affection for her by hugging her, having her sit on his lap and kissing her cheeks.
Around 2015, the victim’s mother asked the accused to refrain from having any unnecessary physical contact with her daughter, who was going through puberty.
The man agreed that it would be inappropriate for him to continue expressing physical affection towards the victim, and stopped doing so.
However, on the morning of Aug 2 last year, the 13-year-old girl was on the way to take a bus to school when she bumped into her uncle at a void deck.
He offered to take her to school, and she agreed after “much persuasion”, the court heard.
Instead of driving the teen to school, the man drove past the building and towards a multi-storey car park.
The girl noticed this but assumed that her uncle was not allowed to stop his van at the school entrance as it would obstruct traffic.
At about 7.30am, the man parked his van on the first floor of the car park and his niece thanked him for taking her to school.
He told her he missed her and asked for a hug, which she gave. He then told her to get into the back of the van and sit on his lap, and she complied.
While the girl was on his lap, the man kissed her neck several times and took pictures with her with his phone.
The girl struggled, but her uncle tightened his hug. He let her go only when she said she was late for school.
The teenager was “shocked and disappointed” and sent her mother a message to tell her what had happened. She also reported the matter to a teacher once she arrived in school.
She later lodged a police report and was seen at the Institute of Mental Health’s child guidance clinic, where she said she felt “upset, sad and frustrated” at what her uncle had done.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng asked for at least five months’ jail, saying the man had “utterly betrayed the trust” of the girl.
He added that the incident “certainly traumatised” the victim and left an “indelible scar” on her. The girl had suffered a nightmare of the incident, he added.
The man’s lawyer asked for no more than four months’ jail, saying his client was a first-time offender who was fully cooperative and remorseful.
The judge granted him a deferment of his sentence for two weeks to settle his affairs.
For an indecent act with a child under the Children and Young Persons Act, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.
Published at Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:58:43 +0000