AN 82-YEAR-OLD man says he will probably die in jail after he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for the repeated rape and sexual assault of his daughter when she was a child.
The Gladstone granddad pleaded guilty in District Court yesterday to five historic offences - two counts of rape and three counts of indecent treatment committed against his daughter back in the 1980s when she was aged between four and 10.
Prosecutor for the Crown Shauna Rankine said the father had taken advantage of his daughter's vulnerability and ignorance as a child and left a profound affect on her.
She said his crimes left the daughter feeling very isolated and there was no facet of her life that was not affected.
"There has been significant deterioration of her family life.
"Essentially it has ripped her heart apart," she said.
Ms Rankine said the man also still blamed the child.
"He clearly fails to acknowledge his guilt," she said.
"The Crown says he has limited remorse, if any."
Judge Fleur Kingham said the man would not be eligible to apply for release until he had served at least 2½ years.
"It was a gross abuse of your position as her father. A gross abuse of trust and manipulation of her affection," Judge Kingham told him.
"When she understood what was happening to her she resisted and you desisted, that is when the offences ceased."
Judge Kingham said the damage was not solely confined to one person but had "ripped the family apart" with the daughter now alienated from the family and her mother.
She said the daughter's letter to the court about the affects of the abuse was poignant.
Her Honour found he had little insight into the "wrongness" of what he had done, and worse Judge Kingham said he even indicated that the child enjoyed it and was even now trying to pass some of the responsibility for his crimes onto her.
Judge Kingham said she was now sentencing an elderly man who has emphysema and other medical ailments but these issues could be managed within the prison system.
In his submissions defence barrister Tom Polley said the man also has sclerosis of the liver.
"He is resigned to the fact that he will die in prison," Mr Polley said.
"He will be doing it tougher than a younger, able bodied prisoner."
Mr Polley described how the now elderly man grew up in poverty and gone out to work at the age of 14.
"He now spends most of his time lying down, thinking about getting up," he said.
The man will be able to apply for parole from December 2017.
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