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Pedophile panelbeater jailed for 10 years

A Melbourne panelbeater who sexually abused a nine-year-old girl has been jailed for 10 years after pleading guilty to eight charges.

Shane Spooner, 36, preyed on his victim repeatedly starting in 2018, and continued the abuse until she was 11 years old.

The County Court on Tuesday heard that on one occasion, Spooner made his victim wear black lace underwear, gave her a small sum of money and told her not to tell her parents.

When the victim did tell her parents about the abuse, Spooner claimed she was capable of making up the allegations.

But her parents went to the police, who later found the black underwear at Spooner’s house.

Spooner said the underwear and other items found at his house were a “coincidence”, but DNA testing of the items linked him to the crimes.

Police arrested Spooner in February last year, and he pleaded guilty to eight charges including three counts of sexual penetration of a child under 12.

“It goes without saying how much the community abhors your kind of offending,” Judge Peter Lauritsen told Spooner.

“Your moral culpability is very high, you had no regard to the effect of your behaviour upon her.”

The court heard Spooner’s victim has nightmares and is afraid he might escape from prison, while her parents fear they have failed to protect her.

Judge Lauritsen said while Spooner had shown genuine remorse, effectively treating his pedophilia would be a long process, and Spooner is currently a moderate to high risk of sexual reoffending.

Spooner will serve a non-parole period of six years and nine months.

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