A JUDGE was strongly criticised yesterday for allowing an alleged rape victim to receive counselling from a police psychologist halfway through giving evidence. Deputy High Court Judge Wesley Wong was also censured by the Appeal Court for his ''unbalanced, inadequate and misleading'' summing-up and for making an ''elementary'' mistake in sentencing. The hard-hitting comments concerned the trial of a construction worker accused of molesting and raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and indecently assaulting her 12-year-old sister. Despite medical evidence that the younger girl was a virgin, the jury still convicted the 39-year-old man of four charges of rape and indecent assault. The construction worker, who was jailed for 111/2 years, was cleared earlier this month by Vice-President Mr Justice Power sitting with Mr Justice Sears and Mr Justice Leonard. But in a damning judgment delivered yesterday, the three judges expressed astonishment that the case was not thrown out after a doctor's report showed the younger girl had not had sex. They said Deputy Judge Wong could have stopped the trial and, at the very least, should have warned the jury that the medical evidence contradicted the girl's claims. He was also admonished for taking the ''unusual and improper step'' of asking the girl if she wanted counselling when she broke down midway through her testimony. Mr Justice Sears, giving the judgment of the Appeal Court, said it was ''a most serious and material irregularity'' that she had been allowed to spend an hour with a police psychologist before continuing her testimony. He added: ''While witnesses are giving evidence there should be no contact in the form of counselling or otherwise between them and the police or those employed by the police. ''What happened here was not only irregular, but was almost certain to cause prejudice in the jury's mind against the defendant.'' The Appeal Court also rebuked prosecutor Christina Ma for emphasising the ''trauma and agony . . . of the brave little girl'' and the fact she had needed counselling during the trial. Mr Justice Sears said such ''emotional advocacy'' was quite out of place and came close to asking the jury to abandon a calm, rational approach to the case. Deputy Judge Wong was further reprimanded for failing to give the jury clear directions about the evidence in relation to each separate count following the trial last November. In the unusually strongly worded judgment the court said the summing-up was ''wholly inadequate'' and ''seriously flawed''. Mr Sears added: ''This type of case, particularly when serious, uncorroborated allegations are made by a young person who has for many years kept silent, requires careful and impartial consideration by the trial judge. ''Regrettably, this summing-up fell far short of the standard required for such a serious charge - it was unbalanced, inadequate and misleading.'' Deputy Judge Wong was also criticised for increasing the defendant's sentence by three years because he had forced his stepdaughter to go through the ordeal of giving evidence by pleading not guilty. Mr Sears said it was an ''elementary'' principle that a person would not be punished for exercising his right to plead not guilty. Although the stepfather, who cannot be named for legal reasons, won his appeal three weeks ago, the reasons for quashing his convictions were given only yesterday. Deputy Judge Wong could not be contacted for comment last night.