Rapist who preyed on stepdaughter, 7, jailed

A WARWICK man has been jailed for five years for raping his seven-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was out with friends.

During proceedings in the Warwick District Court last week it was heard the girl was taken to police after confiding in her grandmother.

The grandmother testified that the young girl had told her through tears about how the man she called Daddy raped her on her bedroom floor while her sibling watched TV in another room.

The grandmother reported the abuse after the man tried to take custody of a child he shared with the girl's mother.

On Wednesday the man pleaded not guilty to one count of a rape and an eight-man, four-woman jury was empanelled to decide the case.

Other witnesses called to give evidence included detectives and the girl's mother.

The mother's voice broke as she recounted the time she awoke early to find her boyfriend asleep in her daughter's bed and the seven-year-old asking her mum to help her.

The little girl also gave evidence, which was pre-recorded and then shown to the jury.

She said her abuser said, "Don't tell mummy", when he had finished raping her and it had happened more than once.

When questioned by the defence counsel as to whether someone had told her what to say, the little girl said her grandmother had and told her to "tell the truth".

The man was sentenced to five years jail, with 43 days of pre-sentence custody taken into account.

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