Gippsland man is jailed over child abuse, incest

A MAN who began sexually abusing his daughter when she was 18 months old was sentenced on Monday to 16 years in prison, after pleading guilty to 14 charges.

The offending continued until his daughter was aged 6 1/2, finally ending when the girl told a teacher at school.

The man, from Gippsland, was charged with three counts of sexual penetration of a child, three counts of incest, five counts of producing child pornography, and committing an indecent act with a child under 16.

The town where the offending took place cannot be revealed for legal reasons.

The court heard the victim revealed the abuse on February 25, 2019, during a writing exercise at school where she stated “On the weekend Dad did something special to me on the bed”.

Prompted further, she said her father told her she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, and that it was a secret.

She later told police, “dad does special things to me”.

The girl described numerous indecent acts she was forced to participate in.

Her father was a primary carer, and the abuse generally occurred on weekends when she was alone with him while his partner was working.

Police raided the family’s home and discovered sex toys, dozens of child abuse images and cannabis.

The victim’s mother later discovered a USB stick in a shed at the property containing images of her daughter being abused, which she reported to police.

A folder named “lol” contained six images of the girl being sexually abused, created when she was aged just over two.

CDs containing child abuse material were also discovered.

Judge Paul Higham said the man had demonstrated little, if any, remorse, and he was unaware of another case where such a young child had suffered such abuse.

“Children who have been sexually offended against, have had their innocence, their childhood and their sense of self stolen from them,” he said.

“Crimes against children are quite simply crimes against our common future and our common humanity.”

The court heard the victim had developed ADHD, displayed sexualised behaviours and showed symptoms of reactive attachment disorder, where a child will freely choose strangers to provide protection and contact.

The man was jailed for 16 years and five months, and had already served 429 days before sentencing. He will be eligible for parole in 12 years.