15 May 2024

South Coast rapist handed 20 years' jail for historical crimes against four children

| Albert McKnight
Bega Court House. Photo: Ian Campbell.

The man pleaded guilty shortly after his trial began in the Bega District Court in 2023. Photo: File.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

The “dreadful” abuse committed against three children on the NSW South Coast, as well as against a fourth child elsewhere in the state, has seen the man who assaulted them being handed two decades in prison.

The man, who legally cannot be named but is now aged in his 60s, was sentenced to a total of 20 years’ jail with 14 years’ non-parole by the NSW District Court on Friday (10 May).

He abused the first three children in the 1980s, with his victims including his own daughter and a babysitter. He then abused the fourth child in the 2010s in another part of NSW.

“The conduct of the offender is abhorrent and can only have been the consequence of his perverted deviant sexual impulses,” Judge Robert Newlinds SC said.

“Taken individually, they each are objectively serious. Considered together, they demonstrate sustained dreadful conduct by the offender over many years. They have each had profoundly detrimental consequences to the victims.”

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The man abused the first girl three times over a few years starting from when she was about seven. He abused the second girl, when she was about 12, until she yelled at him to stop.

He then sexually abused his own daughter on two occasions while she was aged between about seven and 10 and tried to get her to keep what happened a secret, telling her, “No-one will believe you”.

Lastly, he orally raped the fourth girl twice when she was about six and seven.

Judge Newlings said the victims had written statements for the court which he found powerful, compelling and distressing.

“They confirm, what I had already inferred, that is that the trauma associated with the offending has had a devastating ongoing impact on their lives and no doubt will continue to do so,” he said.

The man pleaded guilty to eight charges shortly after his trial began in the Bega District Court last year. Judge Newlings said it was clear he had no insight into why he offended.

“Most certainly he appears to have no understanding at all as to why he behaved in the way he did or even that such behaviour is not just legally wrong but morally reprehensible,” he said.

“To describe his character as anything other than profoundly flawed would be an error.”

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The judge did “bluntly” say that, “his state of health and age mean that it is unlikely he will reoffend if and when he is released”.

“He may well die in custody but that is only because of his conduct, which for many decades went undetected,” he said.

The sentence was backdated to account for time served, so the man will be eligible to be released in December 2035. He will be placed onto the Sex Offender Register.

The man pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with act of indecency on a person under 16, three counts of assault with act of indecency on a person under 16 and under authority, a single count of sexual assault without consent on a person under 16 and two counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and under authority.

Nine other child abuse-related charges were taken into account on sentencing.

Anyone impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578. Local support services include the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) on 6280 0900, and Victim Support ACT on 1800 822 272 or 6205 2022. You can report a sexual assault by attending an ACT Policing station in person, calling triple zero in an emergency or 131 444 for police assistance, or online if the sexual assault occurred more than six months ago.

If this reporting has raised mental health concerns for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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