Stepfather jailed over rape of eight-year-old girl
A JURY has found a man guilty of the rape of his stepdaughter following an Ipswich District Court trial.
The jury heard the girl was aged just eight years old and looked upon her attacker as a father figure after he moved in to live with her mother.
His crime was described as being brazen and predatory, and a violation of a little girl's trust.
It took place in a loungeroom of the family house while other people were home.
The 31-year-old man denied the offence at his trial.
While seated in the dock before facing sentence on Wednesday, the man appeared relaxed about his fate as he chatted to his parents.
Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson said the man threatened to punch the child at the time, and his crime was a significant breach of trust.
Ms Robinson said the man had shown no remorse.
Defence barrister Peter Richards told the court the man had been held in custody in South Australia for more than nine months for alleged offences.
Mr Richards said this jail time should be taken into account by the Judge because it relates to the same child when the family moved to Adelaide.
That matter was not proceeded with, Mr Richards said.
The defence barrister said his client had a good childhood, with very supportive parents, but that he had learning difficulties.
He receives a disability support pension, suffers serious depression, and has been diagnosed with ADHD.
Judge Bernard Porter QC said the man had been living with the girl's mother and what he did had been a very significant breach of trust.
"It was predatory behaviour of a young child who looked to you for protection. It was brazen when others were in the dwelling," Judge Porter said.
"She was entitled to your protection. It was a betrayal of this child."
He said there had also been a threat of violence.
Judge Porter said the child's mother, in a letter to the court, said she believes that issues her daughter suffers in dealing with the outside world could be attributed to the man's actions.
Judge Porter said he would take the jail time into account and discount his sentence by six months.
The man received a three-year jail term, but he will be eligible to apply for parole in May 2022 after he serves 15 months.