Singapore

Shorter jail time for man who abetted girlfriend’s rape

The Court of Appeal yesterday slashed four years off the jail term handed down to a 28-year-old former auxiliary police officer who had arranged for another man to have sex with his girlfriend without her consent.

Reducing the jail term from 23 years and 11 months to 19 years and 11 months, the court agreed with his lawyers that the original sentence was "crushing" for someone who was relatively young and had a clean record up until the offences.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the woman's identity, had pleaded guilty to two charges of abetment of rape and one of abetment of sexual assault by penetration last year.

The High Court sentenced him in November to a total of 24 years' jail and lopped one month off to take into account the time he had spent in custody.

He was also sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane.

At his appeal yesterday, the man, represented by Mr Ramesh Tiwary and Ms Diana Ngiam, argued that the sentence was significantly above that for rape offences.

Mr Tiwary said the trial judge had not calibrated the individual sentences for each charge to ensure that the combined sentence was not manifestly excessive.

He added that the man had offered to testify against the co-accused and pleaded guilty to save the victim from the trauma of testifying in court.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Winston Man argued that the man was not as cooperative as portrayed, noting that he pleaded guilty only last November but the offences came to light in 2016.

The court, comprising Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash and Justices Chao Hick Tin and Woo Bih Li, cited the totality principle, which requires that with multiple offences, the aggregate sentence is proportionate to overall criminality.

There was no practical change to the caning sentence as the maximum number a person can receive is 24.

COURT & CRIME