‘Grandfather’ figure abused young girl, involved dog: court

‘Grandfather’ figure abused young girl, involved dog: court

While his wife was at work, an elderly man seen as a ‘grandfather’ to his victim’s family performed unspeakable acts on a little girl.

A South Australian man who made a child watch his two dogs lick his penis and encouraged her to do the same only stopped abusing her once police became involved, a court has heard.

The elderly resident, from Adelaide’s north, pleaded guilty to the persistent sexual exploitation of a child and to committing bestiality and was sentenced to more than 10 years’ imprisonment earlier this month.

The Adelaide District Court heard the defendant, aged in his late 70s, and his then wife were close friends of his victim’s family and were viewed as the girl’s “surrogate grandparents” because of the families’ close relationship.

The young girl and her brother stayed at his home multiple times during school holidays over the last 10 years.

However, while the child – who was just four years old when the offending began – and her brother were in the man’s care, he would abuse her.

According to sentencing remarks, he waited for his then wife to leave for work at 5am, would then get undressed and into the bed where the little girl was sleeping and would stay there until her brother woke at about 7am.

On at least two occasions during those visits, the man caused his two dogs to perform fellatio on him in her presence and invited her to watch, saying: “You should do the same”.

“She told you this was disgusting, but you persisted,” Judge Julie McIntyre said during the defendant’s sentencing.

“Indeed, your victim continually told you to stop all of your behaviour, but you did not.

“You coerced her both physically and psychologically. You made her feel like this was normal behaviour that happened to everyone.”

The court heard the defendant’s offending came to light when the victim, who lives interstate, complained to her schoolteacher who alerted her mother.

The matter was then reported to police, which prompted the offending to stop.

Judge McIntyre said the man’s actions caused “significant trauma” to the victim and her family and have left the child ”uncomfortable in her own body” and that she also wakes up screaming.

“Her family feel that it is their fault that this has happened. It is not. The fault is yours alone,” the judge said.

“I accept that you are sorry about what you did but … I find it difficult to accept that you fully appreciate the harm that you have done to your victim, her family and indeed your own family.”

Because of his early guilty pleas, the defendant was granted a sentencing discount and was handed a non-parole period of six years and three months.

The judge also imposed an intervention order with a string of conditions to protect the victim, including barring her abuser from being within 100m of her and directly or indirectly contacting her.

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Author: Shirley