HE was a boarder who became his landlady’s lover then turned monster as he forced her young daughter to commit sex acts on him.
The man, now 54, was jailed in Wagga District Court on Monday after being found guilty at trial in August on four counts of sexual intercourse with a person under 10 and one count each of indecent assault and attempted sexual intercourse with a person under 12.
Judge Gordon Lerve sentenced the man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – to eight years in prison.
He will serve another four-and-a-half years on parole after his release on August 4, 2024.
The offences occurred between 1988 and 1992, and Judge Lerve said he was required to sentence the man according to sentencing practices and principles in place at that time.
He said if the offending occurred now, the man’s sentence would be much more severe. He said the maximum penalty now for one of the offences was life.
Judge Lerve scolded the man for a “serious and gross breach of trust”, which occurred when the man was aged between 25 and 29.
“In effect, you were the father figure of the household,” Judge Lerve said. “Young people are entitled to feel safe in their own home without being preyed upon by people such as this offender.”
He said the man’s age at the time was relevant considering the very significant age difference between him and his victim.
Judge Lerve said the victim in a statement to the court had spoken eloquently of the long-term damage caused to her by the offender.
Judge Lerve said he could not find the man was remorseful because he still denied the offences, but he was prepared to find on balance the offender was unlikely to reoffend and had good prospects of rehabilitation.
The court was told some of the man’s offending occurred while other people were in the home.
On one occasion, he wedged a knife in a door jam to prevent other children going into the room where an assault was happening.
The victim told the court she could hear another child crying on the other side of the door while the assault took place in a Wagga house.