Child abuser gets an extra 18 months' jail

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am

A former policeman had a jail sentence for sexually abusing his stepdaughter increased to 4 1/2 years yesterday after the prosecution won a review of his original sentence.

The Court of Appeal ordered the man, 48, to serve more time for two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

He had pleaded guilty and was jailed for three years last November by Judge Peter Line in the Court of First Instance.

The man admitted having sex with the girl in 2005, when she was 11, and then in 2007. Both offences happened at their family home.

The judge was also told that the girl had written a letter to the court forgiving her stepfather, and a victim impact report showed she was not severely traumatised.

Judge Line described the three-year term as a merciful sentence.

Prosecutors had asked appeal justices Robert Tang Ching, Maria Yuen Ka-ning and Darryl Saw to review the sentence.

Senior public prosecutor David Leung Cheuk-yin argued that there were aggravating factors that warranted a heavier term.

Mr Leung said the judge had given a 50 per cent discount on the sentence to acknowledge the otherwise good character of the defendant during his 28 years' service in the police force, which was too much.

Mr Justice Tang agreed, saying the appropriate discount should not be more than four months.

Reading from a report, Mr Justice Tang noted the victim had expressed her ambivalent feelings toward the defendant, and that she did not reject him for fear her mother would get hurt and the family would not be kept together.

The judge said the trauma and distress in sex abuse cases involving children was not confined to the victim, as it also affected the parents, who may feel guilt for having entrusted the child to the abuser, or having left the child unguarded.

The court was told the victim's mother, the defendant's third wife, had since divorced him.