NOT FORGOTTEN: Winton Leslie Smith, 80, pictured outside Lismore Court House, pleaded guilty to historic child sex assault crimes on a 13-year-old girl.
NOT FORGOTTEN: Winton Leslie Smith, 80, pictured outside Lismore Court House, pleaded guilty to historic child sex assault crimes on a 13-year-old girl. Hamish Broome

It has taken 45 years to tell her story of sexual assault

SHE fought him off with everything she had, and her desperate kicks and screams managed to thwart his horrible desire to rape her.

But what the then 13-year-old couldn't fight off was the lifelong scar of being sexually assaulted as a child.

Now 59, she lives daily with the legacy of those horrible childhood memories.

They include being taken in his car to a quiet location where he tried to rape her on the car seat.

On another occasion he ordered her to get into his bed, naked, while he undressed himself before trying to rape her again.

Both times her courage and desperation fended him off. She kicked, struggled, slapped and screamed.

But he also twice sexually assaulted her in other ways.

On one of those occasions there were even others were in the room, but they did not notice.

She tried to tell those most dearest to her what was happening, but they refused to listen.

It took 45 years to finally tell her story after years of counselling, depression and anxiety.

After taking the matter to police in 2015, she confronted the offender, Winton Leslie Smith, now 80, early last year.

Smith made full and frank admissions to his offences, and was arrested in June.

He pleaded guilty in November to four historic charges arising from the offences - two counts of attempted carnal knowledge of a person between 10 and 16 years old, and two counts of indecent assault on a female under 16.

On Friday, Lismore District Court Judge Clive Jeffrey sentenced Smith to an aggregate of two years and four months in jail, with a 10 month non-parole period.

Judge Jeffrey quoted sentencing guidelines that dictated that adult offenders who abused children known to them must be "severely punished".

While three of the offences were described as "opportunistic and spontaneous", the fourth, an attempted rape, was "planned" and "toward the top end" of seriousness.

He said the victim had been "significantly affected" as a result of the childhood abuse.

In Smith's defence, however, Judge Jeffrey said he was "clearly rehabilitated" and there was "no suggestion" of any similar conduct since.

The former bricklayer was described as "physically frail" and reliant on 13 medications to cope with ailments including arthritis, chronic kidney disease, lymphatic leukaemia, and diabetes.

Judge Jeffrey said while his health and age must be taken into account, the sentence must also "recognise the harm done to the victim and the community".

Smith showed little emotion in the dock as he was formally convicted and sentenced.



Police calling for help in search for two missing teen girls

Police calling for help in search for two missing teen girls

TEENAGERS last seen at 10pm and thought to be heading to Rocky

Award-winning artist inspired by political activism

premium_icon Award-winning artist inspired by political activism

Activism shapes artist's world

Rockhampton accountant's 35 fraud-related charges

premium_icon Rockhampton accountant's 35 fraud-related charges

Court hears allegations involve falsifying records

Local Partners