Man crawled into cousin’s bed and touched her inappropriately
Man crawled into cousin’s bed and touched her inappropriately Contributed

Man attacked girl, 6, in her own bed

A FORMER leather worker who crawled into his six-year-old cousin's bed and inappropriately touched her will be released from prison in nine months.

The 31-year-old man was yesterday found guilty in the Southport District Court on two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

The jury of eight men and four women, after a four-day trial, acquitted him on a third charge of indecently treating a child.

It took them about three and a half hours to make their decision.

When the jury read out their verdict, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stared blankly with no expression on his face and appeared to shake.

The girl's mother, on the other side of the courtroom, burst into tears.

Judge Katherine McGinness last night sentenced the man to 18 months prison to be suspended in nine months.

She described the attack as "opportunistic".

"There was no physical harm, however, there was a threat made by you as to whether she told anybody," she said.

"You were in a position of trust as her cousin."

During the trial the court was told the man was drinking with the girl's mother and uncle the day of the attack on June 18, 2016.

He went into her bed, shone a torch in her eyes, before pulling down her pants and touching her inappropriately.

The man also made her touch his genitals.

He took photos of the girl which he later deleted from his phone.

Before he left the room he told the girl he would "hurt her" if she told anyone.

The girl told her mum the next morning.

Judge McGinness said the girl's victim impact statement spoke of how she was suffering from nightmares.

"She talks about this being the scariest night of her life," she said.

"Hopefully this never happens to her again.

"She appears to be a brave little girl who hopefully with the continued support of her parents will continue to thrive and hopefully put this behind her."

The man's barrister Ed Whitton, instructed by Legal Aid Queensland, said the man had grown up as a Mormon before leaving the faith at 13.

Mr Whitton said the man had recently given up drinking.