Online predator sting unravels sickening family secret

A MAN has been jailed for offences including the rape of his nine-year-old stepdaughter.

An Ipswich court this week heard the man, who cannot be named because it could identify his victim, was arrested when police set up a sting after he was also caught pursuing a 14-year-old girl.

In the case before Ipswich District Court, the Crown prosecutor Farook Anoozer called it a serious example of predatory behaviour.

The court heard the man himself suffered sexual abuse as a boy while living at Boystown.

Appearing from jail by video-link because of COVID health measures, the man pleaded guilty to Crown charges of rape; indecent treatment of a child under 16 (indecent film) when lineal descendant/or guardian; indecent treatment of a child (procure to commit offence) lineal/or guardian; making child exploitation material; possession of child exploitation material; using carriage service to access child pornography; and using the internet to procure children under 16.

Mr Anoozer said it was serious in that even after there was evidence of him sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, he continued his predatory behaviour by going on the internet and trying to contact young female children.

The court heard that after telling his partner, "sorry I f***ed up", he then arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl at the Orion Shopping Centre, Springfield.

Mr Anoozer said the mother of the man's stepdaughter did not go to police at the time, saying she was in fear and did not want her daughter to relive what was done to her.

The court heard he also offended against his own biological son, also a child, by showing him pornography.

A psychological report before the court found the man was of 'moderate' risk of reoffending.

The Crown sought a head sentence of between eight and nine years.

Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme drew attention to the man's own troubled childhood, with a report stating he was the victim of sexual abuse when under care at Boystown.

"He is capable of staying out of trouble. In his time in custody he has taken up Bible studies and done some rehabilitation courses," Mr Seaholme said.

"He has not yet done the sex offenders treatment program which he will be required to do.

"He has now had 407 days in jail to reflect on his appalling behaviour."

In a written submission Mr Seaholme sought for sentencing judge Dennis Lynch QC not to make a serious violent offender's declaration against his client.

Judge Lynch sentenced the man to a nine-year jail term for the rape with parole eligibility after he serves 3 ½ years.

He had been held in custody since July 2019 and this would allow him to begin making his parole application in January, 2023.

Judge Lynch shed some light on the agreed facts, saying five of the offences related to the man's stepdaughter, then aged nine.

He said the man showed her pornography on his mobile phone then got the child to take part in a sex act.

Judge Lynch said the girl was raped soon after, with the crime only discovered only when police arrested the man in relation to an arranged meeting with a 14-year old girl who he had been communicating with via text message.

The court heard the girl's persona was created by undercover police.

Judge Lynch said the man's phone contained child pornography, including 159 movies and 1200 images, "depicting gross abuse of very young children by adults".

Judge Lynch said a victim impact statement revealed the "serious loss of innocence" suffered by his stepdaughter through his abuse.

Judge Lynch did not make a serious sexual offenders declaration which would have required the man to serve 80% of his sentence.