Grandad jailed for rape

AN 81-YEAR-OLD grandfather has spent his first night of many behind bars for a series of horrific sexual assaults on his young granddaughters.

The man, who can not be named to protect the identity of his victims, faced Bundaberg District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one count of rape and 10 of indecently dealing with lineal descendants under the age of 12.

Crown prosecutor Lily Brisick said the offences related to a period in 2003 and 2004, when the man was staying with his daughter and her two young children.

"He committed a series of very serious offences on his granddaughters who were aged seven to eight and two to three at the time," Ms Brisick said.

"It was nothing short of disgusting. It was an extreme breach of trust."

Defence Barrister Peter Richards said his client was in good health for his age and pointed out that the man had pleaded guilty early on because the charges were only brought up last year.

"His employment history is good, as it often is in these cases," Mr Richards said.

"His drug and alcohol history is nil."

Judge John Robertson said he was appalled by the man's behaviour, which was committed when he was aged 71 and 72.

"It's incomprehensible to members of the community and to me why a grandfather would use his very young granddaughters for his own sexual gratification, and that's what you did," Judge Robertson said.

"These are horrific circumstances that I think would shock many people."

Judge Robertson sentenced the man to concurrent jail terms of six-and-a-half years for the rape and three years for the indecent dealing charges.

He will be eligible for parole in three years and three months, when half of the sentence has been served.

"Involving a two-to-three year old in your vile sexual behaviour is almost beyond comprehension," the judge said.

"The offending has had a monstrous affect on the children, their mother and no doubt on the extended family.

"Your breach of trust and the disgusting behaviour towards them when they were so young and innocent will no doubt psychologically affect them into the future."

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