Singaporean loses bid to cut 29-year jail term in ‘horrific’ wife-sharing rape cases

“This is a horrific case,” said the chief justice.

Addressing the accused, he added: “I know you feel shattered. I know you were in prison and you were self-blaming and hating yourself and so on, but you have to confront what you did and you have to find the answer to that.”

The 42-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to 29 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane last month for conspiring with five men to have his wife drugged and raped over a period of eight years.

The man, identified only as J to protect the victims’ identities, also conspired with two men to rape their wife or ex-wife.

Singaporean to spend 29 years in jail for letting 5 men rape his wife

J met his six accomplices as early as 2010 on the sex-themed forum Sammyboy and other platforms for wife-sharing fantasies.

A month after he was sentenced, J claimed that his wife – the main victim in the case – wanted him to ask for a lighter sentence, and he could not be represented by defence counsel at the point of pleading guilty.

All parties in the case cannot be named due to gag orders imposed by the court.

On Wednesday, J again sought more time to engage a lawyer to review his appeal submissions.

The judges – who also comprised Justices Belinda Ang and Woo Bih Li – eventually said this would be futile. The Public Defender’s Office had rejected his application for a pro bono lawyer, while his mother said in her letter to the court that they were not able to afford one for him.

He previously had two sets of lawyers but they discharged themselves before he pleaded guilty.

In her letter, the man’s mother said in Mandarin that her family hopes he can be reunited with them soon, and that he worked hard to support his children.

“He is a person who is filial, respectful and a good son … His wife sometimes threw temper at him, and all this, I take it seriously. He did not have enough money for all the expenses but he did not come to us for a single cent,” the mother wrote.

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

Convict J

She said she once saw him choosing “only one vegetable and one steamed egg” during dinner.

“When I saw that, it really upset me but yet he said it’s OK, as long as he could save some money and support his wife and daughter,” she added.

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”.

Singaporean gets more than 29 years in jail for repeatedly raping niece

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?”

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.

In Singapore, mum admits to 7-year cover-up of son’s abuse, rape of his sister

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.”

This story was first published by CNA

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