For 40 years, a malevolent man sexually tormented first his sister, then two of his six children, protected by his family’s cult-like mentality.
For 40 years, a malevolent man sexually tormented first his sister, then two of his six children, protected by his family’s cult-like mentality.

Vile offender likely to die in jail for decades of sex abuse

A man who ran his family like a cult, subjecting first his sister and then two of his three daughters to decades of frequent sexual violence, will likely die in jail for his crimes.

On Tuesday, the District Court jailed the 62-year-old - known only as "AJH" to protect his victims' privacy - for 20 years, with a 16-year non-parole period.

In sentencing, Judge Joanne Tracey said AJH used intimidation, physical force, blackmail and even religion to keep the traumatised women under his control.

"On one occasion you took your sister out to the shed with her watching as you slit open a pet guinea pig, telling her that was what would happen if she told your parents," she said.

"Years later you threatened her with emotional blackmail, telling her to write a confession for you to sign, which you then told her would mean you would go to jail and lose your wife and children.

"You told (one daughter) that God had made her to be like a wife for you … since leaving the home, she says she views her family as a cult.

"(Another daughter) described how you treated her differently to her sisters, isolating her from the rest of the family and threatening her if she spoke about your abuse of her."

AJH pleaded guilty to repeatedly abusing his sister from 1978, when she was five and he was 20, until 1985 - and to allowing his friends to sexually assault her while he watched.

He also confessed to having abused one of his daughters from her fourth to 15th birthdays, but denied offending against one of her sisters.

However, AJH was found guilty at trial of having committed seven sexual offences against her when she was between the ages of nine and 15.

In sentencing, Judge Tracey said AJH's "cruel" sexual and emotional abuse of his sister "became infrequent, but nonetheless continued" when he met his now-wife.

She said he eventually turned to abusing two of the couple's six children - the other four, and his wife, remain supportive of him.

"I am not surprised by what you say about your wife - plainly, from what I have heard, she was involved in facilitating the abuse of your daughters," she said.

Judge Tracey praised the women for having overcome "shame, embarrassment, nightmares and panic attacks" to "relive their torture" and secure AJH's convictions.

"Each very bravely, eloquently and impressively has described the effect of your abuse," she said.

"It was clear from what each said that, despite you, they are strong, focused and determined to leave you behind and to be better than you.

"It is hard to imagine how terrifying, frightening and confused each of those little girls would have been … your behaviour towards each child was manipulative, cruel and malevolent."


Domestic violence 'is more than just physical violence': Family Violence Advocate Rebecca Poulson says domestic violence is not just physical, but can be emotional, sexual, financial, or even spiritual. New statistics released this week by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show an alarming increase in domestic violence related assaults across Australia. Domestic violence has increased by as much as 50 per cent in some parts of Sydney and in Australia one woman a week is murdered by a former partner. Ms Poulson became an advocate for those suffering domestic violence after her father, niece and nephew were murdered by her brother in law. She highlighted coercive control as a serious but overlooked aspect of domestic violence which involves “a pattern of intimidation or domination” resulting in the victim being stripped “of their sense of self-worth”. She highlighted the changing “police culture” and “media reporting” as positive inroads in this area that have given people “more courage and confidence to come forward”. Image: Getty


Originally published as Vile offender likely to die in jail for decades of family sex abuse