Court upholds sentence of man who raped daughter

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Court of Appeal recently upheld the 14-year, six-month’s jail sentence of a local man convicted of raping his daughter, while criticising a procedural error by the lower court.

The appellant, who was charged on April 13, 2019 with two counts of raping his daughter, initially pleaded not guilty. However, at the commencement of the trial, he changed his plea to guilty for the first charge while he was acquitted for the second charge after it was withdrawn by the prosecution.

The man, 58, was convicted of raping his 28-year-old daughter in her bedroom on March 9, 2020 at their residence in the Brunei-Muara District. During police interviews, the appellant also admitted to committing multiple rapes against his daughter.

During sentencing, the judge referenced previous cases involving similar offences. Given the aggravating circumstances – committing the crime in the family home, breaching trust as a father, and causing severe psychological harm to the victim – a starting sentence of 21 years’ imprisonment was considered appropriate. This was reduced to 14 years’ imprisonment due to the guilty plea.

Additionally, because the appellant was over 50 years old and ineligible for whipping, an additional six months’ imprisonment was imposed.

The total sentence thus amounted to 14 years and six months. In reviewing the application, Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong, alongside Justices Conrad Seagroatt and Edward Timothy Starbuck Woolley, saw that despite the appellant’s plea for leniency, citing remorse and forgiveness from his wife and mother, upheld the original sentence.

It highlighted the gravity of the offence, the significant breach of trust, and the impact on the victim’s psychological well-being as crucial factors in its decision.

Consequently, the appeal was dismissed, reaffirming the severity of consequences for such reprehensible acts. – Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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Brunei , rape , sentence


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