Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book
Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book serggn

Grandpa jailed for sexual relationship with granddaughter

A 65-YEAR-OLD Rockhampton man convicted yesterday for maintaining a sexual relationship with his prepubescent grandchild had a prior conviction for indecent treatment of a child.

The Rockhampton District Court heard the man was a child sex abuse victim himself.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips said that made the offending against his own maternal granddaughter more serious.

"Himself being a victim of sexual abuse should have made him understand the trauma of sexual abuse," he said.

The jury deliberated on the evidence given in the three-day trial and reached a verdict in 90 minutes.

The court heard the granddaughter was about six or seven years old when she was first raped by her grandfather in his home. She was repeatedly raped over a three and a half to four year period and the abuse continued for a further three to three and a half years, but less often.

The abuse consisted of rape, oral sex and masturbation.

The victim, who gave evidence in the trial, recalled her head would bump against the bedhead during the rapes; she described washing her mouth out after she was forced to give him oral sex; and gave details about his pre-rape routine.

He gave her a lolly after and told her not to tell her parents.

Judge Michael Burnett repeated the words written by the victim's father in an impact statement, describing the offending as "monstrous".

"This was habitual and there was a significant continuity in the conduct," he said. "There is no evidence of remorse."

Judge Burnett said the impact of the man's actions had left the victim so traumatised, she couldn't even write her own victim impact statement.

Instead, her parents each wrote victim impact statements which Judge Burnett said showed the family had been heartbroken, emotionally distraught and both parents felt guilt over what had happened to their child.

"It has left them with significant doubt about their role as parents," he said.

"They trusted you. By breaching that trust, it has destroyed their self confidence."

Defence barrister Scott Moon said the defendant lost his father when he was five years old and his mother married a violent alcoholic who would beat his mother profusely, leave the house and then send a letter to tell her where he was and ask her to join him.

He said as a result, his client attended 15 schools in 10 years.

Mr Moon said his client was sexually assaulted by a family friend when he was between five and seven years old, which he reported to an older sister but no charges were laid.

Despite his childhood, the defendant worked from when he left school in Grade 8 until a month before the trial, and was married to the victim's grandmother for more than 35 years. They have been divorced for many years.

Judge Burnett sentenced him to nine years' jail. He will not be eligible to apply for parole for at least 54 months.