Man pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday
Man pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

'Dreadful' uncle preyed on 13-year-old niece

"YOU know why you get all the boys, it's because you're so gorgeous."

These were the words a 36-year-old Rockhampton man uttered to his 13-year-old biological niece after he "fondled" her intimately in a bathroom.

The man pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in the Rockhampton District Court yesterday, where the court heard of three separate incidents of abuse from January this year.

The teenager had been staying with her uncle's former partner - and mother of his child - while under the care of the Department of Child Safety.

The court heard the "escalating" sexual advances against the girl had only stopped when she told a shop assistant she was hesitant to go home because her uncle was "touching her".

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said the man had preyed upon his niece's vulnerability.

She said the girl felt she had been betrayed by a family member and was fearful of going to sleep.

Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client had himself been sexually abused as a child by a female relative, who was reportedly also being abused by her step-father.

Mr Ahlstrand told the court his client's parents' relationship was also unusual, with the partnership ending when his mother discovered his father was concurrently in a relationship with another woman, of whom he had four other children with.

Judge David Reid said he wasn't surprised at the contents of the 13-year-old's victim impact statement.

"He put his own gratification before the opportunity for his niece. It is dreadful," he said.

The man was sentenced to four months imprisonment with two years probation on the first count, 12 months imprisonment on the second, and six months imprisonment on the third.

The second and third count sentences will be suspended after four months, with an operational period of three years.



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