Man molested daughter's best friend

A MAN who sexually abused his daughter's friend during a sleepover has been sentenced to nine months behind bars.

Scott Charlton, 40, pleaded guilty on Friday in Ipswich District Court to two counts of indecent treatment of a child stemming from an incident on December 6, 2014.

Crown prosecutor Clare O'Connor told the court Charlton initially denied abusing the young girl, 10, when police questioned him.

She said the offending occurred in the middle of the night when the girl was asleep.

"He crouched down next to the girl and started rubbing her back and breasts before leaving," she said.

"He returned about an hour later, lay down next to her and put his penis in her hand.

"He also rubbed her back and breasts before placing his hand down her pants and rubbed her buttocks."

Ms O'Connor said the girl asked him to stop and Charlton told her to be quiet and to go back to sleep.

She said the girl told her grandmother the following day about what occurred.

"The girl has suffered because of this offending as outlined in her victim impact statement," she said.

"She says she no longer trusts men and she no longer wants to go for sleepovers with her friends."

Defence barrister John Jacob said Charlton suffered from depression, low self-esteem and substance abuse which contributed to the offending.

He said his partner of 17 years had left him about a month after he was charged.

"On the day of offending he started drinking about 5pm before smoking ice," he said.

"He does not remember parts of the evening but accepts the victim's version of events.

"His is also undergoing counselling to address his behaviour.

"He accepts his actions were unlawful and immoral."

Judge Sarah Bradley sentenced Charlton to nine months behind bars and ordered he be related on parole after serving three months of the sentence.

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