Deviant who preyed on sleeping children jailed six years

A DEVIANT who preyed on two girls in his care while they were sleeping has been jailed for six years.

The Maroochydore District Court heard yesterday the man took photographs of the girls, who were both under 12, touched their genitals, and raped one of them on separate occasions.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said the offences came to light when the man's de facto found explicit images on the family computer.

Among more than 1000 images and 98 videos were images of the man's step-daughter, showing her genitals and sex acts giving rise to charges of indecent treatment of a child and rape.

Mr Cummings said photographs of another girl, taken during a sleepover, depicted her underwear, her genitals, and the man touching her.

He said although neither of the girls remembered what happened while they were asleep, one told police she could remember the man touching her genitals on two occasions while she was clothed.

The man, 42, was found guilty of one count each of possession of child exploitation material and indecent treatment of a child under 12 in his care at a trial earlier this year.

He pleaded guilty to another five charges, including rape, in July.

Mr Cummings said bringing the man to trial for offences committed on one of the girls had placed considerable strain on her family.

"Had she become aware of what had happened to her while she was asleep, it would have had a devastating effect on her," he said.

Judge Gary Long labelled the man's actions a "gross breach of trust".

Defence barrister Malcolm Harrison did not argue with the jail sentence recommended by the prosecutor.

He did point out that his client had been a victim of violence and sexual assault while he was growing up, had been treated for a mental illness, and had been a narcotics user.

The man, who cannot be identified, will be eligible for parole release on July 10, 2015.

Topics:  crime sexual abuse sunshine coast

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