Daughter in Hong Kong incest case gets suspended sentence while father jailed two years
Judge rules 26-year-old woman had gone through exceptional circumstances
A daughter who committed incest with her father out of “misplaced love” was spared jail on Monday, but he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
District Court judge Timothy Casewell ordered the 26 year-old woman – known as C.C.M. in court to protect her identity – to 14 months in prison, but suspended the term for two years after learning she had been deprived of “a channel to develop heterosexual relationships” with others.
Devastated by her parents’ divorce, C.C.M. spent extensive time helping at her family’s traditional Chinese medicine clinic, as well as assuming the role of mother to a family of that included a younger brother, her psychological report said.
“The only male figure was her father,” said Casewell, citing the report. “She adopted dysfunctional means for her sexual gratification.”
He said the length of the sentence he imposed fell well within the scope of being suspendable, so he had to decide whether her circumstances were exceptional. “In my view, they are,” the judge said.
But her father, a Chinese medicine practitioner, 59, was jailed for two years, even though Casewell said he had taken his remorse into account.
The daughter and father earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of incest over two consensual sexual encounters in 2009 when C.C.M. was 19 years old.
Their incest came to light when the younger brother, who was a secondary school pupil at the time, found footage of the intercourse and alerted police thinking his sister was being taken advantage of.
C.C.M.’s barrister, Monica Chow, earlier said the incident stemmed from the woman’s “misplaced love, infatuation and devotion to her father” and that she had tried to offer him sex so that he would not marry his new fiancée.
Various reports read in court showed the daughter had been devastated by her parents’ divorce; and that she had eventually taken up the role of mother in the family. This limited her social circle, causing her to develop a strong sense of dependency that went unfulfilled, Chow claimed.
In a last-ditch effort to mitigate, the barrister called for a probation order.
But Casewell noted the daughter was still a willing participant in a “sexual offence, to which there is public abhorrence”. He added she could be seen as the instigator of the offence.
“She must bear a level of culpability,” he said in justifying his decision to issue a suspended sentence.