Eldest of four brothers who sexually abused sister gets 20 years’ jail, caning

The judge said he was in a position of responsibility and trust, but he chose to prey on his sister instead of protecting her. - PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): The eldest of four boys, who knew one of his younger brothers was sexually abusing their sister and who himself began routinely assaulting her as well, has been sentenced to 20 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

The court heard that he preyed on her because she “was still a kid who (didn’t) know anything”.

On May 20, the 23-year-old was handed the sentence by a High Court judge after he admitted to committing serious sexual offences against his sister.

The girl, who is now 14, was assaulted by all four of her older brothers from 2018 to February 2022, when she was between eight and 12 years old.

The eldest brother is the first of the four to be sentenced.

He pleaded guilty to eight charges of aggravated sexual assault by penetration, with another 34 charges for various serious sexual offences taken into consideration during sentencing.

His offences were committed in 2019 and in 2021, when he was between 18 and 21 years old.

His two youngest brothers had earlier pleaded guilty to their respective charges and are awaiting the outcome of reports to assess if they are suitable for reformative training.

The youngest, who is now 18, sexually assaulted and raped the victim when he was 13 to 16 years old. The prosecution had sought eight to nine years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for him.

The second youngest, who is now 20, sexually assaulted the victim when he was 16 to 17 years old. The prosecution had sought nine to 10 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane for him.

The second eldest brother, now 22, is expected to plead guilty on May 21.

Describing the case as tragic, Justice Mavis Chionh said the eldest brother was in a position of responsibility and trust, but he chose to prey on his sister and used her to satisfy his sexual urges instead of protecting her.

Justice Chionh said she hopes that the victim “will draw on the courage she no doubt possesses, to forge ahead with her life, free from fear, and her family members will rally around her to support this journey”.

Aside from the four brothers, the girl also has two younger sisters.

The brothers shared one room while the sisters took another room at the family home. The brothers were told not to enter their sisters’ room unless they needed to use the mirror there.

Deputy Public Prosecutor M. Kayal Pillay said the victim saw the eldest brother as a “very strict” sibling and was scared of him. She did not dare to shout and felt hopeless when he sexually assaulted her, said the prosecutor.

Most of the abuse took place in 2019. He resumed the assaults in 2021 after he broke up with his girlfriend.

On Feb 10, 2022, the victim finally found the courage to tell the authorities in her school about being abused by her brothers.

This led to the Ministry of Social and Family Development being alerted, which in turn led to the lodging of a police report.

The perpetrator was arrested on the same day. He initially disclosed only one incident and claimed that it was consensual, but after he was confronted with more evidence, he admitted that he had repeatedly assaulted her.

The victim felt bad for reporting her brothers and also blamed herself for not stopping them when they sexually assaulted her. She attended therapy sessions for trauma symptoms.

The DPP sought 24 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the eldest brother, but defence counsel Andrew Chua said the prison term was “crushing” as it represented more than the man’s entire life so far.

Seeking 20 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane, Mr Chua said: “He knows that he has done wrong, and he wants to apologise to everyone involved.” - The Straits Times/ANN

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