'I was born into a life with a monster as a father'
A WOMAN faced her "monster" father and told the court of the post-traumatic impacts his child sexual abuse offending had on her during the past 40 years.
Her father, a 72-year-old man, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 after a five-day trial in the Rockhampton District Court this month.
The offending started when the victim was about 11 years old when she crawled into her parents' bed one Sunday morning with her siblings and her father touched her breasts and vagina beneath her nightie, but above her underwear.
It continued on the couch during a party when he covered them with a blanket and touched her breasts and vagina, skin-on-skin.
He progressed to digital penetration of her vagina by the time she was 13 on at least two occasions.
During the trial, a phone conversation between the man and his victim was played to the jury where she confronted him over the offending and he responded that he didn't recall the incidents and "may have pushed it out of his mind".
The court also heard of his "regular occurring behaviour" including watching her shower, fondling her at the kitchen table and remarks about her breasts in front of others.
He also told her once he "was teaching her how to kiss boys".
The woman, now 49, faced him as she read out her victim impact statement to the court.
"To the outside world, I belonged to a normal family," she said. "(But) I lived as a hostage in my home... lived in fear of him coming into my room... of him touching me... of him making passing comments about my growing teenage body.
"I was born into a life with a monster as a father.
"Once the abuse started, so did the downward turn of my (school) grades.
"Up until then, I was a bright student."
The woman said she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1995 and had major anxiety attacks and constant panic attacks.
At the time, she was 26 years old with two children.
"I was dealing with the guilt of not being the mother to them that I wanted to be," she said.
The woman had five children, two failed marriages, psychological issues impacting her ability to work and destroying her relationships.
She said she spent three years in weekly counselling sessions and even cut contact with her father for a year during this.
However, after her first marriage ended, she "craved the support of a loving father" and "blamed myself for what I had become", letting her father back into her life "little by little".
The court heard she organised his 60th birthday and in 2013, worked with him in his business, "overachieving for him".
"But my past kept coming back to me," she said.
"I left his employment because I could no longer look at him.
"I was terrified of doing it again."
The woman said she had two young daughters under 10 at that time.
"I was on edge when they were around him," she said.
Judge Michael Burnett said he had little doubt, despite no medical documents tendered, of the significant impact this had on the victim.
"This was a breach of trust of the greatest nature," he said.
Judge Burnett sentenced the man to a four-year prison term, suspended after two years (February 3, 2021) and operational for five years.
The sentence was within the range applicable for the legislation in place at the time of the offending.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES