Child rapist given ‘good benefit’ for guilty plea
A MACKAY father who committed vile sexual acts against his own daughter has been given a more lenient sentence than other child rapists because his crime was deemed less serious and he pleaded guilty.
Mackay District Court heard the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, saved the victim from having to give evidence, showed remorse and even made some admissions to police.
"I think there should be a clear indication given that you get a good benefit if you plead guilty to a matter for which you are guilty," Judge Julie Dick said, accepting the man's remorse.
"Sometimes these events happen when there are emotionally fraught circumstances."
As a result he was jailed for four years, to be suspended after 10 months, which is much less than the usual one-third, for three counts of rape and two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.
His depraved offending occurred twice while the child, aged 12 and 13 at the time, had been living with him in the Mackay region over two weeks in late 2014 and early 2015.
Crown Prosecutor Claudia Georgouras said the man undressed, touched and kissed her, digitally and orally raped her and forced her to touch him.
He was aged 41 and 42 at the time.
The victim told her stepmother in December 2018 and during a later phone call, that was recorded, the man made some admissions and "expressed remorse for that offending noting that he hadn't done it for three years".
Ms Georgouras said the penalty range was between three to five years jail and five to eight years jail, but Judge Julie Dick rejected the submission.
"There's only two occasions and there's no penile penetration," she said, also noting the man pleaded guilty to the charges.
"The big thing for me is that you have not caused this child to have to give evidence because anyone who sits in these courts and watches these children give evidence knows that it's excruciating, it's almost like putting them through the offence again."
Judge Dick accepted multiple references showed the offending was "out of character".
Barrister Tony Collins told the court his client had no criminal history and said the offending had occurred some "considerable time" before police were told.
Convictions were recorded. The man will now become a registered 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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