Grandfather Sexually Abused 5yo Granddaughter and Showed Her Pornography

Grandfather Sexually Abused 5yo Granddaughter and Showed Her Pornography

A South Australian grandfather has been jailed after he continuously inappropriately touched his granddaughter and showed her pornography. 

The 84-year-old man, whose identity remains suppressed, was charged with maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child after he sexually abused his granddaughter for five years across 2007-12.

The abuser was found guilty of the crime by Judge Joanne Tracey in the Adelaide District Court last week. Sentencing remarks revealed the man touched his granddaughter’s vagina, both over and under her clothing, and showed her pornography when she was aged between five and 10 years. He was aged between 70 and 75 years at the time of his offending.

The court heard the child stayed with her grandparents overnight during school holidays and at times when her parents worked during the school term. Judge Tracey said the man touched the child “almost every morning or night” that she stayed at his home.

“You maintain your innocence and say you were found guilty because of a conspiracy on the part of your daughter-in-law, who has groomed your granddaughter to make false claims,” she said.

“You do not appear to be willing to engage in any attempt to understand the potential impact of your behaviour on your granddaughter … these matters show that you have no insight into your offending or any remorse.”

During his sentencing, the court heard the man’s actions left his granddaughter feeling “embarrassed, overwhelmed and ashamed” for years.

When delivering her victim impact statement, the child said her family had been “completely torn apart” because of the abuse and had a strained relationship with her father.

“Family gatherings have been awkward, making her feel that she has ruined the family and it is something that she can never take back or fix,” Judge Tracey said when citing the statement.

“She wonders whether she should ever have said anything instead of just dealing with it by herself because it hurts to see her mother in so much pain.

“She now quite properly understands that what happened to her was never her fault. She says that you now mean nothing to her.”

The court also heard the child’s mother suffered from anxiety and depression and struggled with “overwhelming guilt” because she did not realise what was happening to her daughter.

“She wants you to know that your actions have destroyed a once loving, happy marriage and family. Your family were all your victims but they are survivors.”

The culprit was handed down an eight-year jail term with a non-parole period of two years and six months.

Judge Tracey said a “relatively merciful approach” was to be adopted when fixing his non-parole period because he was elderly with medical conditions.

The offender suffers from visual deficits and osteoarthritis, stopping him from walking more than 100m, but the Judge said there was nothing to suggest his care could not be met by Correctional Services in custody.

“I am satisfied that your visual impairment and your osteoarthritis are permanent conditions and, as a consequence, the risk of you committing a sexual act against a child is no longer an appreciable risk to the community.

“Your offending was very serious and while I accept that it occurred at the latest, nearly nine years ago, it was a gross breach of trust committed while your young granddaughter was in your care.

“General deterrence is of very real importance here and cannot be devalued. The interests of the community must here concern the denunciation of this type of offending and achieve an appropriate level of punishment and general deterrence.”

It was also revealed the man was previously handed down a 10 months and 24 days imprisonment sentence for aggravated and basic offences of possessing child pornography in June 2017.

But, due to his age, poor health and lack of prior offending at the time, his sentence was suspended.

Emily Cosenza