Father tells of frustration with justice system

WHAT do you do if your 13-year-old daughter comes to you and tells you that she has been molested by someone you know? That is the question that keeps one local man awake at night as he strives to find justice.

What makes the situation worse is that the man who molested his daughter was once his best friend.

Now, after months of court appearances and entering a guilty plea, the offender still walks the streets of Gladstone as he waits for his sentencing.

Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has written to the Attorney General asking for answers in relation to the case.

Mrs Cunningham said she was seeking information why, despite entering a guilty plea, the alleged perpetrator was walking the streets while he waited to be sentenced.

'My concern would be that if there is a plea before the court of guilty, it (the case) isn't just closed so both the father and the victim can get closure,' Mrs Cunningham said.

Mrs Cunningham said she sympathised with the father, with there being little he could do because of the justice system.

The father contacted The Observer recently frustrated with the justice system he said allowed the perpetrator to be free while his court case was continually adjourned.

'When I found out I just couldn't believe it, just the way he has infiltrated our lives,' he said.

'You have this date in your head for it to be sorted in court and then you go along and they just put it back further and further.'

'As a father how do I tell her (his daughter) 'sorry we can't deal with it yet because the courts are too busy for you'?'

'What gets me is that he is allowed to walk around as a free citizen,' he said.

'Everyone tells you there's nothing we can do ? that's just the justice system.'

'But what about other children? In my opinion he's not done yet.'

The father often dreams of executing his own form of justice against the man who assaulted his daughter, but knows it would only make the situation worse.

'They could have me in jail that night if I did any- thing,' he said.

'But when it comes to our children it's allowed to drag on and on, what does that say? ? that it's all right to do this sort of thing to our kids? "I'm sorry I can't accept that, I just want justice.'

The man has said his daughter had spiralled into a state of depression and self harm as she waited for an answer.

'She just clams up and won't talk about it,' he said.

'It's just so frustrating not to be able to do anything, all I want to do is help her but I can't.

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