A County Court judge in Melbourne regarded the facts of the case as “disturbing and repugnant”.A Ballarat man will spend at least six years in prison for sexually abusing achild “over almost the entirety of her life” until the age of three.
A County Court judge in Melbourne regarded the facts of the case as “disturbing and repugnant”.
Judge Sue Pullen on Tuesday told the man, who The Courier has chosen not to name,his crimeswere aggravated by his gross breach of trust to the victim and herparents, the lengthy period of offending, her age and the disparity inage between them.
Judge Pullen said a psychiatrist reported that the man, 31, had displayed a “callous” attitude when speaking about theacts he committed and that to police he had tried to deflect blameand/or “suggest initiation” of his conduct onto the victim.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge ofpersistent sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 between 2010and February this year.
The court heard his offending was revealed when MD – which was how the victimwas identified in Judge Pullen’s sentencing remarks – told her motherabout a sex act with him.
The woman later recorded on her mobile phone further disclosures by MDand confronted the man after he returned from church.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Pullen said courts had a duty toprotect children as they are “vulnerable and especially vulnerable toabuse of trust”.
“They are immature in their understanding of right or wrong and aredependant upon adults responsible for their care not to abuse thatimmaturity,” she said.
In fixing a maximum of eight years jail with a non-parole period ofsix years, Judge Pullen also took into account the man’s lack of previousoffending, his admissions to police, and his guilty plea which saved the time and cost of atrial and meant witnesses did not have to give evidence.
Prosecutor Luisa Di Pietrantonio had not found a previous case with avictim as young as MD or one that involved offences over virtually thewhole of a person’s life.
Ms Di Pietrantonio had submitted it was clear sexual gratification wasthe reason for his offending.
Defence lawyer Chen Yang conceded that the offending was very seriousand that the 25-year maximum prison term for the offence reflected howparliament regarded such conduct.
MD’s mother spoke in a victim impact statement about being “plagued byself-doubt”, fearful of making decisions and afraid she and MD wouldbe hurt again.
MD’s father said in his statement he could not sleep and”felt sick” that he could not protect his daughter.
Judge Pullen was prepared to accept that his guilty plea indicatedsome remorse, but noted with “some concern” a psychiatrist’sobservation that he “overall had a very callous attitude whenspeaking” about the sex acts.
She said that if he had not pleaded guilty, and been convicted after acontested trial, she would have jailed him for 12 years with a minimumof 10 years.
The Ballarat man will be placed on the sexual offences register for life.
– THE AGE
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