Paedophile sent to jail

A 13-year-old victim of rape saw her abuser jailed yesterday.

The 49-year-old man last year pleaded guilty to 20 sexual assault charges between 2003 and 2004, and was yesterday sentenced to six years in jail.

The charges included five of rape, one of maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor, and numerous counts of indecent treatment of a child.

The girl was 11-years-old at the time of the first offence which signalled the beginning of the 18 months of trauma at the hands of her mother's then boyfriend.

The court heard the girl had suffered nightmares and had almost taken her life.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Justin Whalley said the man should be jailed for eight years for the clear breach of trust.

Defence counsel said the man had attended sex addicts' anonymous, had been visiting a psychiatrist and had helped those suffering from alcohol and drug addictions.

He also set up a $15,000 trust fund for the victim's counselling and future education, according to defence counsel.

The court heard the mitigating factors in the man's favour were his early plea of guilty and his lack of previous history.

Mr Whalley said the acts involved oral sex, rather than intercourse, but this should have little bearing on the sentencing.

In sentencing Judge Howell said child molestation was increasing and that more often than not it was someone close to the family.

He said there had been a persistence and a certain predatory nature in the offences and there were clearly severe effects on the victim and her family.

The man was sentenced to a total of six years jail but will be eligible for an early release after two and a half years.

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