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Man's sex abuse of grandkids 'revolting'

A Melbourne grandfather who sexually assaulted his two granddaughters has received a three-year suspended jail term for what a judge described as revolting crimes.
Victorian County Court Judge Marilyn Harbison told the 82-year-old he betrayed the girls' trust and robbed them of their innocence as he assaulted them repeatedly between 2006 and 2010, when they were aged between eight and 12.
The court heard the man first abused the girls while looking after them when their parents were away on holiday.
The court heard he told both girls after various assaults, "This is our little secret."
In a victim impact statement, the eldest girl, now 15, said her grandfather's abuse had left her angry, frustrated and afraid to be alone.
The girls' mother also told how her father's "lies and deception" had torn their extended family apart, as he initially denied the girls' claims of abuse and much of her family rallied behind him.
The man's defence counsel said he had since confessed to his entire family and felt deeply remorseful, describing his actions in a letter to the court as "filthy" and "a disgrace".
He was convicted on four counts of an indecent act with a child, after pleading guilty before a trial was to begin.
The man sat slumped forward, clutching his face throughout the hearing, and his hands trembled as Judge Harbison sentenced him to three years' jail, wholly suspended, and ordered him to be placed on the sex offences register.
"What you did to your granddaughters was revolting," Judge Harbison said.
"No apology will restore the innocence you have taken from them."
The judge said she had considered the man's age, declining mental and physical health, acceptance of guilt and low risk of reoffending in determining his sentence.

AAP (7-8-2012)
Carl Dickens

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