Jailed for sex with 15yo sister-in-law on New Years
A CAPRICORN Coast man has admitted to having sex with his 15-year-old sister-in-law at a New Year's party at Raglan.
The now 29-year-old man was sentenced to 18 months' prison, suspended after six months and operational for three years, after a jury found him guilty of one count of carnal knowledge and four counts of indecent treatment of a child.
The man, a qualified diesel fitter, was found not guilty of four counts of rape and two counts of indecent treatment after a seven-day trial in the Rockhampton District Court last month. During sentencing yesterday, the court heard defence lawyer Doug Winning had made an offer to Crown prosecutors for his client to plead guilty to some charges - mainly carnal knowledge or indecent treatment rather than rape - prior to the trial but the offer was declined, forcing the man to go to trial.
Mr Winning said there were "illogical and implausible features in the Crown's case" and "Blind Freddy could see" these.
"He (my client) was forced into going to trial because of the zealous position of the Crown," he said.
"They've finished with a shipwreck."
The court heard the verdicts of the jury meant the defendant had obtained a better result than what his lawyer had offered the Crown prior to the trial, in terms of the seriousness of the charges he was found guilty of committing.
The court heard the five charges were in relation to three incidents in 2016 - two of which took place over a 24-hour period.
Some offences took place inside a "man cave" at Raglan.
The offences included touching the girl's buttocks after she had a shower and dried herself, the defendant's penis rubbing the girl's vagina prior to sex, other pre-intercourse sexual acts, sex, and touching her breasts in June 2016.
Judge Michael Burnett said the evidence pointed to there being "a crush between him (the defendant) and the victim".
He said the victim's impact statement showed the offences had led to "irrevocable damage" to family relationships, including the breakdown of the defendant's marriage and subsequent lack of contact with his two children.
"She did see you as a big brother figure," Judge Burnett said.
Mr Winning said his client had undertaken significant steps to rehabilitate from a drug problem after the charges were laid and had also carried out four months of volunteer work for a not-for-profit organisation as part of that rehabilitation.
"He had an ice addiction for four years," he said.
Mr Winning said his client, who had no prior convictions, had also shown considerable remorse that was evident in the recorded interview with police.
The defendant had spent five days in pre-sentence custody, which were declared, following the jury's verdicts.