A PREDATOR who told authorities he sexually molested his daughter as a joke, but who in fact raped her on multiple occasions, will now be serving 23 years in prison.
Justice Brian Cottle, in reviewing the facts of this case on Wednesday, February 3, commented that he found the case to be a troubling one.
The offender, now 31 years old, on two occasions between July 31, 2018, and January 1, 2019 committed the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse (USI) with a girl under the age of 13. He was also charged for indecent assault.
During his sentencing Cottle stated that offenders who commit repeated acts on children can expect to receive consecutive sentences from the court.
“A cursory glance at the list of matters scheduled for trial and any session of the criminal assizes reveals far too many of this type of offence, and by sentencing, this court would continue to demonstrate its attitude towards all who may be minded to behave in this manner,” Cottle also explained.
“Our children must be protected,” he said.
It is said that on the first occasion, the father picked up his daughter from the care of her mother. Before taking his daughter to where she was supposed to go, he took her to his house. On this occasion, he violated her in three ways: by way of his fingers, penis and cunnilingus.
His daughter then witnessed him ejaculating.
Although she did tell someone else about this on the same day, when the father was confronted he said that the young girl was telling lies. There was no action taken after he said this.
On another day, the father took the young girl to a relative’s house, where he raped her. She did not report this incident at the time.
However, in 2019, the daughter told a classmate about her father’s actions, and this classmate reported this to an older relative, who then told the Principal of the school she attended.
The police were informed, and in an interview, the father admitted to sexually molesting his daughter and claimed there were only two instances of sexual intercourse.
Although it was difficult to hear what the 31-year-old prisoner was saying at the High Court on Wednesday, he seemed to be telling the judge that he was intoxicated, smoking marijuana and has a mental illness.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind when this incident occurred,” he mitigated.
He claimed extreme remorse for his actions, and that they would not be repeated.
His hope was for a suspended sentence.
However, the 31-year-old already has three convictions for indecent assault of a girl under the age of 15 which all occurred in the same morning.
This week he faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for unlawful sexual intercourse of a girl under the age of
13, and five years for indecent assault of a child under the age of 15.
A social worker/workers often carry out a social inquiry on the individual to be sentenced.
In an interview with them, the offender also informed them that he was intoxicated and under the influence of cannabis at the time of the offence. He told them that rubbed his penis against the vagina of his daughter as a joke.
His close relative told social workers that he seemed to have a normal relationship with his daughter and she was shocked to hear of the offences.
His mother said that after a road accident her son’s behaviour had never been normal, but she has never observed any inappropriate behaviour on his part towards the child.
“Her opinion was that if the prisoner did commit the crimes that he was convicted for having committed, he was not in his right mind when he did the act,” Cottle relayed.
His employers said that he had often been reported for touching others inappropriately.
In sentencing, Justice Cottle used the sentencing guidelines formulated for sexual offences. He placed all offences in the exceptionally serious level, given the age difference, and the age of the child. Further, the offender had tried to say that his daughter was lying when confronted in order to discourage reporting the matter.
“There was the obvious abuse of a position of trust. The prisoner as the father of the complainant should have been the person she could rely on the most to keep her safe,” the Justice said.
His level of culpability was also determined to be the highest. The judge decided to start at 66 per cent of the maximum, which equates to 20 years.
He then considered what aggravated and mitigated the offence. The aggravating features outweighed the mitigating ones and steadily carried the sentence up to 27 years.
However, prisoners who plead guilty at the first opportunity are entitled to a one third discount, and therefore, after this was applied the court was left with a sentence of 18 years incarceration on the first count.
On the second count of USI, the 31-year-old was sentenced to five years, which will be served after the 18 year sentence is completed.
For the indecent assault of his daughter, the offender will serve three years and four months, but this is to be concurrent to the other sentences.
He has already been in prison for one year and nine months while awaiting the outcome of the matter, and this will also be subtracted going forward.