Daughter watches on as rapist father gets nine year's jail
AT 17 YEARS of age, not many people could say they have faced their darkest demons and come out the other side.
But a young woman who bravely looked her abuser in the eyes as he stood handcuffed and crying in the dock of Bundaberg District Court can.
Through tears, the woman watched her abusive father face Judge Leanne Clare - and through a crackling voice called him "dad" when he tried to speak to her from the dock.
The court was told that when the girl was just 4, her father tried to penetrate her vagina and threatened to "kill her if she told anyone".
Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said the next time the girl was abused was when she was only 8 or 9, at a motel in Maryborough.
It was there the man had performed multiple sex acts on her several times and rubbed her groin until she cried.
He then raped his daughter in the motel room's bathroom.
Defence barrister Russell Clutterbuck told Judge Clare his client had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his grandfather at a very young age, and struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his life.
Judge Clare said his early upbringing was "tragic but it cannot be used as an excuse".
"You knew these things were very wrong and you knew, perhaps better than most, how traumatic sexual abuse could be," Judge Clare said.
"Yet you persisted in assaulting and raping your own child when she was just a little girl.
"When she was four years old you introduced poison into her childhood and at 17 she is bravely working on recovery.
"With you away she can grow to build a good life ... I hope serving justice today can help the healing..."
Judge Clare sentenced the man to nine years in jail. He must serve four-and-a-half years before he will be eligible for parole.