A man has been sentenced to 14½    years’ jail for the sexual abuse of a child.
A man has been sentenced to 14½ years’ jail for the sexual abuse of a child.

Rape victim’s childhood ‘destroyed’

A VIOLENT paedophile who sexually abused a child for years in the most heinous ways made the girl's mother help him take her virginity on her 12th birthday.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, was found guilty by a jury in Townsville Supreme Court of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child and two counts of rape - although the court heard he had raped his victim "constantly" over more than five years.

The girl was just six years old when the offending against her began in 2003, but Judge Douglas McGill said he was convinced the abuse had started even earlier.

Judge McGill said she was repeatedly anally raped by the man who was in a relationship with her mother and whom she referred to as "dad".

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said witness evidence suggested the raping went on for years without the mother's knowledge until the man made a confession to her.

The court heard his offending stopped for several months but he soon recommenced abusing the girl.

Judge McGill said the first instance of vaginal rape suffered by the victim occurred on her 12th birthday.

"You took her virginity," Judge McGill said. "The complainant resisted this vigorously. (The vaginal rape) was only secured by you being able to compel your partner to assist in the commission of that offence."

The child's mother pleaded guilty to charges of rape and indecent treatment of a lineal descendant when she appeared before Townsville District Court in September last year. During her sentencing Judge Kiernan Dorney said the mother played a significant role in the rape.

"The child was screaming and she was told to be quiet or he would punch her," Judge Dorney told the mother in court. "She had bruises on her back the next morning and in her own words, it was the worst time she could remember."

The mother was sentenced to five years' jail but the sentence was suspended for a period of five years.

She gave evidence at the trial of her former partner.

At his sentencing, Judge McGill said the years of abuse had a significant impact on the child, now aged 21.

"A very serious unnatural childhood would have destroyed her happiness during that period," he said.

"This led her to use of illegal drugs and ultimately criminal activity. She attempted suicide on one occasion and she was hospitalised in a psychiatric institution for some time.

"She is still very distressed and very upset."

Judge McGill took into account stringent bail conditions when sentencing him to 14½ years' jail.

Judge McGill declared a serious violent offence meaning the man will have to serve at least 80 per cent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.