A MAN was yesterday imprisoned for one year after he admitted to digitally raping his young daughter in a bedroom at a Sarina house eight years ago.
The father, now 57, confessed to indecent treatment of his daughter during an interview with police last year, days after he asked her to pose for photos in her “birthday suit” at a Cairns beach. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent treatment of a child, one count of rape and one count of common assault in the Mackay District Court.
The court heard the girl was eight when her father asked her to come and sleep in a bedroom at a Sarina house one afternoon, in late 2003. Prosecutor Chris Winlaw said the girl thought her father was naked but wasn’t sure as he was covered by a sheet.
The father had inappropriately touched the girl, before committing the digital rape. He then grabbed her hand, making her touch him inappropriately.
On another occasion, in Townsville, the father asked his daughter, then nine or 10, to take off her clothes. It was alleged that pretty much the same thing happened for five or 10 minutes until her brother knocked on the door. The father later denied to police there was any penetration on that day, Mr Winlaw said.
It wasn’t until last year that the girl, then 14, confronted her father about what had happened. Mr Winlaw said the father and daughter had been at a section of a nudist beach in Cairns when he had asked her to pose for photos in her “birthday suit”.
The girl was upset as it had reminded her of what had previously happened, so that night she confronted her father at a hotel room they were staying at. He initially denied what had happened but then said he was under the influence at the time.
He had grabbed her arm and shook it and then hit her over the head twice and hit her face. That night he told his daughter he had been sexually assaulted as a child.
Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, instructed by Legal Aid Queensland, said the father was a long-term user of marijuana and was affected by drugs at the time of the offences. Ms Hartigan said this didn’t excuse his behaviour but helped explain it. She said there weren’t any similar offences in the man’s criminal history and he had shown a high level of remorse by making full admissions and travelling from Cairns knowing he would go into custody.
Ms Hartigan said he had confessed because he wanted a clean slate for him and his daughter. Judge Grant Britton said he accepted the man had shown great remorse.
“I accept your motivation (for confessing) was not for selfish reasons but for the benefit of the complainant.”
Mr Britton acknowledged the man was affected by drugs, which provided some explanation for his memory of the events being somewhat hazy.
Mr Britton sentenced the man to three years imprisonment, to be suspended after serving one year.
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