A father from the Mackay region will spend the next 18 months behind bars after being found guilty of two charges of raping his daughter.
Most important points:
- The violation occurred once between 2014 and 2016 and again in 2018
- The victim’s mother found out when she came across a notebook her daughter had written in
- When handing out her sentence, Judge Julie Dick said the man’s crimes “clearly” affected his daughter’s life
Readers are cautioned that this report contains confrontational details about crimes against a child.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stared blankly as the jury of five women and seven men read its verdict after eight hours of deliberation in the District Court in Mackay.
The jury found that the man digitally raped his daughter twice.
The first took place between 2014 and 2016, when the girl was nine or ten years old.
“She had fallen asleep on a sofa in a caravan on the property [they were living on]’, Crown Prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke told the trial.
“She woke up when her father came home that night.
“When she woke up, the leggings she was wearing had been pulled down and the suspect’s fingers were inside her.”
The second incident took place in a house in 2018, when the girl was awakened again by her father who did the same.
Notebook exposed crimes
What happened only came to light after the girl wrote about the incident in a notebook.
“She wrote a letter, not addressed specifically to anyone, [which] detailed problems she had,” said Ms. O’Rourke.
“Her mother saw that letter… and she showed it to her boyfriend, who was having conversations with… [the complainant] where she gave more details.”
The court heard from the girl’s mother, as well as from her boyfriend and then-boyfriend, whom she had also told.
Her mother told the court she had found the book and spoke to the girl’s father about the allegations.
But in a police questioning, the man said he knew nothing about the allegations, only to later reply that he knew about the book.
“He was intentionally evasive and untrue about what he knew,” Ms O’Rourke said.
Text to aunt brought police in
It wasn’t until the girl texted her aunt that the police came.
“I thought he was going to hurt me,” the text message read to the court read.
In the message, the girl told how he would sit in front of her door, tell her to take off her clothes and call her “sexy”.
She said she was pretty sure he was watching her through holes in the wall and that he once tried to get into her room through a window.
The court was shown photos of the girl’s bedroom, which had a small hole in the wall near the door.
Attorney Scott Mclennan had argued the claims were false, and the girl had made them because she did not have a good relationship with her father.
“She was a teenager who felt like she had a tyrant in her life, that tyrant was her father,” he said.
“She would complain to anyone who would listen.
‘Position of trust’
In the end, the jury sided with the prosecution.
In her sentencing comments, Judge Julie Dick sentenced the man to three years in prison, of which 18 months were suspended.
“Obviously there have been two incidents that have had a pretty big impact on your daughter,” Judge Dick said.
“[She] was your biological daughter – you were in a position of trust.”