Web Stories Saturday, February 24

“ALREADY CHOKED THE LIFE OUT OF ME”

The man also read out his mitigation to the court, which comprised a mix of personal and technical arguments.

He began by saying it had been four years and two weeks since his arrest and incarceration, as well as almost 13 years since his first offence.

“I remain in the purgatory of pain, guilt and self-condemnation, not wanting to forgive myself for harming my wife and causing her and my children to suffer,” he told the court with his voice shaking at times.

“I hate myself for harming the other victims in my mindless pursuit of spite and retaliation. It is based solely on my love for my wife, growing children and ageing parents that I make this appeal.”

He stressed that he accepted his wrongdoing and did not want to waste the court’s time by debating past issues “despite unresolved grievances”.

He asked the judges to consider the evidence and sought leniency, though he gave a caveat that he was “in no position or authority” to say if the sentencing judge made a mistake in imposing the penalty.

“The sentence which has been imposed on me had already choked the life out of me,” he added.

“I have told both my counsellor in prison and psychologist – my soul has died. What is left is just an empty soul. I’m trying my best to compose myself not to break down in court today.”

He later added that he used to take home a salary of S$60,000 (US$44,600) on average every year.

“Twenty years of income lost will be calculated as S$1.2 million as financial support to give family minimally,” he said.

“What kind of son, husband and father leaves his loved ones to fend for themselves for this amount of years?”

VICTIMS WERE DEHUMANISED

In response, Chief Justice Menon told him that the court has to evaluate the gravity of his offences as well as be faithful to sentencing principles and precedents.

The chief justice read out a portion of the sentencing judge’s grounds of decision where he cited two noteworthy aspects of the case: A shocking betrayal of marital trust, and egregious sexual perversion of conduct.

The victims had been drugged and unconscious during the rapes which mostly took place in their homes. Video clips of the assaults were shared online, which re-victimised and dehumanised them, said Chief Justice Menon.

He added that he could not see any error by the sentencing judge.

“In looking at this issue, the court has to look at the entirety of all the interests – the victims, who have suffered enormously. And we have to look at what society expects in a situation like this, what is the expression of public interest in a situation like this,” said Chief Justice Menon.

“And we have to be faithful to the principles and precedents. We can’t just say we want to be lenient because the sentence is wrong. We have to speak to what the principles are.”

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