Grandfather faces trial on molestation charges

A 66-year-old man accused of molesting his two granddaughters pleaded not guilty before Gladstone District Court yesterday.

The man, who cannot be named for fear of identifying the alleged victims, will face trial on five counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 12.

Crown Prosecutor Belinda Merrin said alleged the offences occurred at the man's house in Gladstone, between January 1, 1996 and April 3, 2004.

In her opening statement, Ms Merrin said 'weekly visits to Nan and Pop's place were not as enjoyable as they should have been' for the two sisters.

She said the man was the step-father of the girls' father and was 'the only grandfather ever known to them on their father's side'.

The man allegedly indecently touched the younger of the two girls on an unknown date between January 1, 2003 and April 3, 2004 when she was a nine-year-old.

He was also alleged to have indecently touched the older sister on the bottom and breasts on a number of occasions between January 1, 1996 and April 3, 2003, when she was aged between six and 11.

The eldest girl was claimed to have told school friends that she was molested by her grandfather, and also went to her parents, telling them: 'Pop's been touching me', Ms Merrin said.

The trial, before Judge Shanahan, will continue today.



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