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Abuse Victims 'Paid In Cereal'
THREE young Ipswich girls were sexually abused over a number of years
by their foster parents' teenage son and were treated like second-class
citizens during their stay with the family more than 20 years ago, a court has heard.
The Ipswich District Court was told the girls, then aged between two
and six, were so badly mistreated they were paid off with bowls of
Nutri-Grain cereal to settle them after sex attacks by the boy, then
aged between 13 and 16, on numerous occasions between June 1984 and late 1986.
The girls' attacker, now aged 35, has been sentenced to three years'
probation and 180 hours' community service after he pleaded guilty to
15 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14.
The court was told the girls were placed in foster care with a Riverview
family in the mid-1980s and were sexually abused by at least two
of their carers' own sons.
Prosecutor Andrew West said acts of abuse included having simulated
sex with the girls while they were naked and forcing them to help masturbate him.
Mr West said the girls were treated poorly compared with their foster
parents' own children.
The court was told a police investigation into the attacks was triggered
when the man tried to apologise to his youngest victim during a covertly
tape-recorded conversation several years ago.
Barrister Levis Menolotto, for the accused, said his client did not ever
consider what he was doing was incest and ceased the attacks before he turned 16.
He said the man had not sexually abused another person in the past 20 years
and had lost his high-paying job as a manager with Blue Care as a result of
his childhood actions.
Judge Ian Dearden said this was the first case he had seen in his 20-year
law career in which a child-sex offender was so remorseful that he had sought
treatment for his problems long before appearing before a court.
In sentencing the man, Judge Dearden said the penalty imposed had to reflect
what the man would have received if he had been convicted at the time of the offences.
Courier Mail (25-4-2005)
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