A NSW father-of-four who sexually abused his teenage daughter and intimidated her into silence with a note reading “DO NOT TELL ANYONE” has had years slashed off his jail term because it was “manifestly excessive”.
The man, who cannot be legally named because it would identify his victim, this week had years cut from his sentence.
But his sick crimes were laid bare in court documents as he learned he could be released from prison as early as 2027.
The Court of Criminal Appeal cut the man’s sentence by six years because three judges found that his original sentence, handed down in the Campbelltown District Court in October last year, was too harsh.
He successfully appealed the length of his sentence, with Justices Robert Beech-Jones, Robert Hulme and Hament Dhanji on Friday re-sentencing the man.
The man was originally sentenced by District Court judge Andrew Colefax to spend 16 years in jail with a non- parole period of 12 years after the court heard that he forced her into sex on a daily basis.
The court heard that the then 16-year-old girl kept secret the sexual abuse for fear of reprisal until years later.
The man pleaded guilty to a string of serious charges including three counts of incest and assault occasioning bodily harm.
The court heard that the young victim was raised in a strict Catholic household and when she was 13-years-old he beat her with a leather belt after he discovered she had had sex with her boyfriend.
The man pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated inciting an act of indecency after he had carried out a “virginity examination” on the girl.
After the man discovered she engaged in sexual intercourse, she was forced to sit on a coffee table with her pants and underwear pulled down while he examined her genital area, the court heard.
On another occasion he beat her because a school principal told the parents that the girl developed “feelings” for a boy.
The girl was taught from a young age not to mix with non-Christian people and not to speak to boys.
His abuse became sexual in mid-2010 when the victim was 16-years-old, with the court hearing that he would go into her bedroom at night and rub her genital area.
A statement of agreed facts tendered to the District Court noted that she “froze” and could not tell him to stop because she feared being beaten.
Over the ensuing weeks, he would routinely go into the victim’s bedroom and molest her after his wife had left for work.
His abuse soon escalated when he began “subjecting the victim to sexual intercourse”, Justice Hulme said.
After abusing her on the first occasion, he handed her a note with the words “DO NOT TELL ANYONE” scribbled on it, the court heard.
On one occasion he told her: “You would look nicer if you lost some weight from your thighs”
She reported feeling like a “slave” who was “not even on the level of being considered human”.
Each week, Australian women face the threat of abuse, murder and domestic violence.
The girl persuaded her parents to allow her to live in the country with an aunt during school holidays.
During the trip, her father sent her emails declaring his “love” for her, asking her to leave her boyfriend and proposing they run away and get married.
The aunt discovered the letters but when she told the rest of the family, the girl’s mother downplayed the prospect of the police becoming involved, instead heaping blame on her own daughter.
“You’re going to ruin your family just for this,” the court heard the mother told the victim.
The girl complained to police about the physical abuse but she did not disclose the sexual abuse.
She married several years later and it was then that she disclosed her father’s sexual abuse for the first time.
After confiding to her husband, she went to police and in 2018 an investigation commenced.
The court heard that he admitted doing “horrible things” and likened himself to “Hitler or worse” and he was arrested and charged in September 2019.
He expressed remorse to a psychiatrist and accepted responsibility before pleading guilty.
The vile father appealed on grounds that his sentence was manifestly excessive.
Justice Hulme noted his offending was serious considering it concerned a close family member, the abuse occurred regularly and the victim “was not a willing participant”.
However he found that the sentence was “a heavy one even for an offender who had been found guilty at trial”.
“Nothing that has been said above is intended to convey that the offences were not extremely serious,” Justice Hulme said.
“They clearly were and the impact upon the victim may be taken to have been both serious and enduring.”
However the man’s sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison, with a non-parole period of seven years and six months.
It means that with time served, he could be back home by July 2027.
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