Man jailed for sexually abusing daughter and granddaughter
SITTING in silence, hunched in his seat a 79-year-old grandfather cried as an Ipswich judge sentenced him to jail for sexually abusing two members of his own family.
Moments later the man was escorted into custody, with his medication scripts clutched in his hand as staff had to help the frail man from his seat.
The man will spend the next three months behind bars, most likely under care of a prison hospital, after he admitted to sexually assaulting his then five-year-old daughter in 1974 and her four-year-old daughter, his granddaughter, in 2008.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was 39 and 70 when he committed the crimes.
Ipswich District Court heard the man's daughter kept silent about the abuse until her own daughter told her in 2015 her grandfather had sexually assaulted her years prior.
The court heard it happened at Goondiwindi and Glen Aplin.
A victim impact statement read to the court revealed the victims suffered ongoing impacts of the abuse.
"The people that are supposed to teach you how life works can take advantage of you so cynically and can poison everything you do," the statement read.
"Something inside you ultimately dies."
The court heard the man was charged after police recorded a phone conservation between him and his daughter where he admitted to the offending against her.
He told her he "didn't see the offending against her as a serious offence" and she "needed to move forward with her life".
Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said prison officers would have to tend to showering and dressing the man in jail.
"In essence, really any sentence will be to a period of time in hospital. His exposure to prison should be as lenient as possible," Mr Kissick said.
"There really is nothing in this man's life that suggests he is or would remain a risk to children."
Judge Dennis Lynch said at the time of the first offending in 1974, the maximum penalty was five years imprisonment but by 2008, the legislation had changed to reflect a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Judge Lynch said the man's circumstances, including having prostate cancer and dry eyes, his age and being 'physically fairly frail' did not excuse him from having to go to jail.
Judge Lynch said the man's conditions could be managed even in custody. He said he thought the man's apology was 'reluctant and qualified'.
"The breach of trust is exceptional, as is the age difference," he said.
"You have hidden a dark secret for many years and it is a stain on your character."
The man pleaded guilty to one count of indecent dealing with a girl under 17 and two counts of indecent treatment of children under 16 of lineal descent.
He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended after three months for four years.