Family outrage: child rapist could be out in 18 months

A DISTRAUGHT grandmother left the courtroom in tears as she listened to how her two granddaughters, aged six and seven, had been sexually abused by their stepfather.

The man had maintained a sexual relationship with his six-year-old stepdaughter for about three months.

During that time, he also sexually abused the girl's seven-year-old sister.

At Ipswich District Court this week, the Gatton man - who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girls - pleaded guilty to a series of sexual offences.

Members of the victims' family and friends, were also present in court during the hearing.

As crown prosecutor Clare O'Connor went into the details of the offences, it became too much for the girls' grandmother, who stood up and left the room.

Some of the man's interactions with the girls included digital rape, oral sex and masturbating in front of them.

He also displayed pornographic videos to the girls and was found in possession of child exploitation material.

The man was aged 25 and 26 when the offences, which began in August 2013, took place.

Ms O'Connor said the man's criminal behaviour had a devastating effect on the girls and their family.

She said the girls' mother had suffered depression and mental trauma. As a result, the children are being temporarily cared for by their grandmother.

Ms O'Connor said the children had become withdrawn and had been receiving psychological treatment.

It is understood the man married the girls' mother in April 2013. Their relationship has since ended. Defence barrister Steve Kissick said the man, now 27, was co-operative and made admissions to police and was willing to engage in treatment in relation to the offending.

Judge Deborah Richards said the man had taken away the girls' innocence by subjecting them to very adult behaviour.

"You were the girls' step-father. They trusted you and you abused that trust by treating them in a sexual manner," she said.

The man was sentenced to five years in prison. He will be released on parole in 18 months.

However the sentence wasn't the justice the victims' family and friends wanted.

A close friend of the girls' mother, who was in court for support, said the punishment seemed like "a slap on the wrist".

"I can't believe he'll be back on the streets in a year and a half," she said.

"He should be thrown in jail without parole. What that man did has blown that family apart."

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