The Supreme Court has sentenced a mother and stepfather for sexually abusing the woman’s daughters.
The couple appeared before Hon. Justice Cato.
The two girls were 14 and 16 when the assaults occurred. The sexual abuse began in early 2017.
The judge found that on several occasions, including an incident of rape, the girls’ mother had helped the man.
The man was found guilty of one count of rape, six counts of serious indecent assault, two charges of indecent exposure and five charges of domestic violence.
The woman was found guilty of one charge of aiding rape, four counts of aiding serious indecent assault, one count of domestic violence and one of common assault.
The prisoners were convicted of several counts of sexual offending against the daughters of the mother and their stepdaughters.
The stepfather was aged 56 at the time of the offending and his wife aged 42. At the time of the offending between January 2017 and March 2017, the victims A and B had lived with them for short periods. The victims were aged 16 (A) and B was about 14.
In handing down the sentences, Judge Cato said the stepfather’s offending constituted a grave breach of trust.
“His offending objectively speaking is worse because it follows only a few years after his release for serious sexual offending against another step daughter,” the judge said.
“As a mother, his wife failed completely to protect her daughters and in participating in this offending exhibited a wanton and callous disregard of her role as a parent and mother.”
Judge Cato said that in recent years the Supremes Court had sent out a strong message that sexual abuse would not be tolerated.
“Denunciation or condemnation and deterrence to the prisoners and to others is also required of this kind of sexual expense,” the judge said.
The older daughter said the prisoners should be held to account and is happy that no others will be the subject of offending of this kind.
“She is plainly aggrieved that her mother played a role in this offending,” Judge Cato said.
“This has had an understandably adverse effect on her and it is likely she will carry this forward throughout her life.”
The judge said he was concerned about the youngest daughter who was the victim of much more serious abuse.
“Plainly she is likely to carry scars for many years to come if not forever,” he said.
“I recommend that this matter be placed before the Solicitor- General for him to evaluate whether proceedings should be commenced to make her a ward of court.”
The judge said the oldest daughter should be greatly commended for her actions in trying to protect her younger sister.
She acted very sensibly and courageously in defence of her younger sister, in taking her away from the residence and in bringing this offending to light. This Court’s acknowledgement should be conveyed to her by the Crown, the judge said.
The stepfather was sentenced to a total of 12 and-a-half years imprisonment, backdated to the date of his remand in custody for this offending.
The mother was sentenced to a total of seven years and three months for aiding and abetting sexual assault and rape.
Judge Cato said the mother was a willing party in her husband’s seduction of her daughters which ended with the rape of B. She acted in serious breach of trust.
“Her actions, which apparently given willingly were appalling and exhibited a fundamental dereliction of her relationship as a mother to her daughters,” the judge said.
The main points
- The Supreme Court has sentenced a mother and stepfather for sexually abusing the woman’s daughters.
- The couple appeared before Hon. Justice Cato.
- In handing down the sentences, Judge Cato said the stepfather’s offending constituted a grave breach of trust.
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