Depraved father to serve 14 years over daughter’s ‘dirty secret’

For decades, it was her “dirty secret”. But after helping expose her “depraved” father, a woman has bravely declared she is no longer his victim before the 73-year-old was sentenced to 14 years in jail.

Jul 14, 2022, updated Jul 14, 2022
 Photo: ABC

Photo: ABC

The youngest of two daughters who were repeatedly abused over seven years from 1978 in Queensland, the woman fought back tears in the District Court in Brisbane as she addressed her father in the dock.

He faced 55 charges including 39 of incest.

Asking to read her victim impact statement in court, the woman said she was still trying to cope with the abuse which began when she was eight and her sister was 10.

Her father “robbed them of a childhood”, continuing to abuse his daughters even after their mother found out when she walked in on them.

“Since the offending began … I have had … the belief I have to keep this dirty secret from the world,” the woman said.

“I would torture myself with the question ‘is it going to happen again today?’

“I felt quite sickened and angry when I recall him stating that his only crime was loving me too much.”

The man used rewards to maintain his daughters’ compliance and threats to keep them silent after repeatedly forcing them to perform sexual and indecent acts.

Over the years he became more brazen, abusing them in public, in their mother’s presence, at Christmas parties, on family holidays and on joy rides until it “permeated every aspect of their life”.

After their mother failed to do anything, by 1983 the eldest daughter had revealed the abuse to several people including a counsellor, two teachers and a school principal.

She later ran away from Queensland to family in Western Australia.

Her counsellor convinced her to return home but the abuse continued.

It didn’t stop until 1985 when the family relocated to Victoria and the man was arrested on two counts of incest.

He pleaded guilty in the County Court and was fined $2000.

The eldest daughter provided a victim impact statement that revealed she still lived in constant fear and suffered anxiety attacks that forced her to give up work and stay at home.

The youngest daughter told the court she had endured a marriage breakdown and suffered flashbacks but vowed to move on.

“I will never forget or forgive the abuse … my hope is that by speaking up I will be able to fully heal and move forward with my life,” she said.

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“I refuse to be a victim and to let what he did to me destroy me. I am no longer his victim – I will no longer keep his dirty secrets.

“I want to declare to him, the court and the world that I am a survivor.”

Judge Vicki Loury saluted the daughters.

“Your conduct has had a profound effect upon each of your daughters,” she told the man, who strained to listen with a hearing aid.

“They have each shown considerable strength and resilience in coming forward and making their complaints to police.

“I acknowledge their strength and fortitude in doing so when so many people failed them.”

The man – who won’t be eligible for parole until May 2028 – didn’t react when sentenced.

“You should have been protecting and nurturing them – you were their father,” Judge Loury told him.

“But instead you acted in a most depraved of ways towards them.

“You corrupted them and manipulated them for your own perverted sexual gratification.”

The man – who requires a hip replacement – was taken away to prison in a wheelchair as his daughter defiantly turned and left the court.

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