Man cries poor after sexually assaulting granddaughter, 11
Man cries poor after sexually assaulting granddaughter, 11

Abusive grandfather’s final insult

A GRANDFATHER who sexually assaulted his granddaughter, 11, while living in his son's home two years ago has tried to get out of paying $3500 granted to his young victim.

The pensioner, in his 70s, cried poor, saying he could not afford to pay the financial assistance under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act.

The grandfather was arrested and charged with multiple offences of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in 2016, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

He pleaded guilty to multiple charges and was convicted and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment on one count and nine months' imprisonment on the other counts.

They were to be served concurrently, with the whole of the sentences to be suspended for an operational period of two years.

The tribunal heard the judge considered the man's age, poor health and lack of previous criminal history, as well as his offending and low risk of reoffending.

The victim later applied to Victim Assist Queensland for financial assistance and was granted $3500, which VAQ then sought to recover from the offender.

The grandfather sought an internal review of the decision and when that application was rejected he asked QCAT to review it.

He argued that he should not have to pay up because he had no assets, he was in poor health and his only income was from a fortnightly disability support pension.

The grandfather asked to have the amount reduced if it was found he had to pay.

The tribunal said the amount given to a victim in financial assistance represented the community's recognition of the injuries that a victim suffered.

Under the Act, sex offences came under a category offering maximum assistance of $3500.

The Townsville tribunal member said the grandfather committed acts of violence and he did not dispute that he committed the offences or that his behaviour injured his granddaughter.

"He simply says that he is an aged pensioner who has poor health and he cannot afford to repay the amount sought to be recovered from him,'' the tribunal member said.

The member found the grandfather was liable to pay the State $3500.

"Neither his age or health are grounds to support any proposition that the amount should be reduced,'' the member said.

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