Stepdad abused her when she was just six
Man jailed 45 months for sexually abusing stepdaughter from the time the girl was six
She was just six years old when her stepfather began sexually abusing her.
He even preyed on the girl on the night his wife was in hospital giving birth to their first daughter.
Out of love for him and not wanting her mother and half-sisters to hate her, the girl kept quiet for about eight years.
But this came at a cost to her own emotional and psychological state. She became deeply affected and would inflict injuries on herself.
She eventually confided in a school counsellor as she did not want her stepfather to perform the same sordid acts on her half-sisters.
These details were revealed in the grounds of decision by District Judge Lee-Khoo Poh Choo, who sentenced the stepfather to 45 months' jailon seven charges of sexual exploitation on Wednesday.
The accused is now in his 50s and his trial lasted two years. He is appealing against his conviction and sentence.
The judge said in her grounds of decision that the accused got to know the girl's mother in 1998. They were married in 2002.
The couple cannot be named to protect the girl's identity.
Judge Lee-Khoo said that the girl, now 21, had testified during the trial that her stepfather first had sex with her when she was six years old.
This continued for about six years until she was in Primary 6, when they stopped for fear she would get pregnant.
It was during this period that the stepfather would also perform obscene acts on her.
Sometime between Sept 7 and 8, 2005, the then 11-year-old girl was asleep in her home when her stepfather touched her private parts.
The girl's mother was in hospital giving birth, noted the judge.
The accused would repeat the act on the girl six more times until March 2010, when the girl was 14.
She testified he would sometimes tell her he was going to touch her when he picked her up after school in his lorry.
She kept mum about the abuse because she was afraid her mother and half-sisters would turn on her and that no one would believe her.
She shared what had happened with a school counsellor she had been seeing due to her poor grades.
It was later discovered the girl had harmed herself because she had physical urges as a result of the abuse, the judge said.
The girl underwent counselling and therapy for two years - delaying the trial till 2014, the judge said.
In court, the stepfather, who worked as a construction site project supervisor, had claimed that his stepdaughter lied about the abuse as she was angry at him for punishing her for her high phone bill.
But Judge Lee-Khoo said in her grounds of decision that she found the girl forthright, coherent and credible.
She added that the girl had nothing to gain and instead, lost the love and warmth of her family.
After finding the stepfather guilty, the judge said: "His depraved, immoral acts left their marks on the young and vulnerable victim forever.
"He had destroyed the warm, close-knit family life that the victim had with her mother and half-sisters."
His depraved, immoral acts left their marks on the young and vulnerable victim forever.
- District Judge Lee-Khoo Poh Choo on the stepdad