A father has been jailed for historic sex crimes against two of his daughters.
A father has been jailed for historic sex crimes against two of his daughters.

Father of eight jailed over historic sex crimes on daughters

A 76-YEAR-OLD Mackay pensioner has been sent to jail for historic sex crimes against two daughters committed while his wife was seriously ill.

Judge Julie Dick questioned why it had taken the women 40 years to come forward, labelling the case "very difficult to sentence".

"Frankly at your age the punishment is going to jail, not how long you spend there," Judge Dick said.

The father of eight, who cannot be named for legal reasons, molested his daughters in the mid to late 1970s including digitally penetrating each girl while the family was at a Redcliffe beach.

Mackay District Court heard at their youngest the girls were aged nine and 10 when the abuse began.

Judge Julie Dick questioned why the victims, now middle-aged women, took 40 years to come forward.
Judge Julie Dick questioned why the victims, now middle-aged women, took 40 years to come forward.

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The offending stopped when the man remarried.

The court heard the two victims had made complaints about the conduct to other family members over the years but only went to police in the past 12 months.

He was charged with and pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of girls, which covered his type of conduct at that time.

The maximum penalty for those charges was seven years jail - it has since been increased to 20 years - however the man was sentenced under today's standards meaning he must go to jail unless there were exceptional circumstances.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said the man had made admissions about his conduct to a health professional in 2016 and then police in 2020.

"When he made his confessions, he also was incredulous as to why the complaint was being made now," Ms O'Rourke said.

The man pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of children.
The man pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of children.

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The court heard the man had a total of eight children between his two wives.
Defence barrister Matt Heelan said his client had a number of health issues that, as well as his age, would make jail more onerous for him than it would a younger man.

"He is a lower risk to the community. He's had 40 years now where he hasn't offended," Mr Heelan told the court.

Judge Dick said the delay was important for two reasons.

"One, he's had it really hanging over his head for 40 years because of the early complaints to family members," Judge Dick said.

"Secondly, it's allowed the court to see that he'd rehabilitated in that time after he remarried."

Judge Dick reduced the time she would usually order because of the man's age, his wife's fragile health and the four-decade delay.

Judge Dick also highlighted the importance in his guilty plea.

The man will spent four months in jail and will be a reportable child sex offender.
The man will spent four months in jail and will be a reportable child sex offender.

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"I have taken the view for very many years that people who commit offences like this should be encouraged to plead guilty to save the victims from a second punishment, which is giving evidence in court," she said.

"It is excruciating for them, it's excruciating to watch, it's hard on juries."

He was jailed for two years suspended after four months. The remainder will hang over his head for three years. He will also be a reportable child sex offender.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.   



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