Dad guilty of assaulting daughter’s friend
A FATHER of two who indecently touched his daughter's school friend says it was a misunderstanding during a childhood game.
The 59-year-old was due to face trial at Southport District Court on Monday but instead pleaded guilty to four charges of indecent treatment of a child under 12 late on Sunday.
During sentencing on Tuesday the court was told the offences happened at the man's house while his wife was overseas.
The court was told how the man forced his nine-year-old victim to touch his penis and how he used his fingers to touch her vagina and breasts.
Prosecutor Gary Churchill said the victim was friends with the man's daughter and the offending happened during a game on August 22, 2017.
Mr Churchill said the man first touched the girl's vagina while his daughter was in the shower.
He said the girl was sitting on the couch when she was approached by the man who asked if she wanted to play an adult version of Murder in the Dark.
"The complainant said she didn't, and he touched her vagina on the outside of her clothing for some three to five seconds," Mr Churchill said.
"I understand she was wearing short denim shorts at the time."
The man then explained to the girl the adult version of the game involved touching someone on their genitals and the other person had to replicate the move.
"He told the complainant child not to tell his daughter about the adult version," he said.
He said once the man's daughter was out of the shower, all three played Murder in the Dark, and the girl was touched again.
Mr Churchill said the man touched the girl on her vagina with his fingers on the outside of her pants and pulled her top down slightly and touched her breasts.
He then grabbed her wrist and used her hand to touch his face, shoulder and then his penis on the outside of his clothes, he said.
"Later on the defendant drove the complainant home where she subsequently disclosed everything to her mother."
Mr Churchill said the victim's father confronted the man the night of the offence and gave him an ultimatum - go to the police or "cop a hiding".
He said the police interviewed the man the same night where he told officers he touched the victim's breasts "unintentionally" during the game.
The court was told the victim, now 12, suffered anger issues and engaged in self-harm since the incident.
"It's fair to say it's opportunist offending but he also engineered the ability to commit the offence through a game type situation and provide himself a defence," Mr Churchill said.
"He knew that to be an inappropriate subject matter, that's why he told her not to tell his daughter."
Defence barrister Issac Munsie said his client had no criminal history and suffered from anxiety, social phobias and had a "low intellect".
He said the man has had no contact with his daughter due to his bail conditions but still financially supported the family.
Judge David Kent QC said the man's late guilty plea showed he lacked genuine remorse and the offending was a breach of trust.
Mr Kent said the effect of the offence on the child was substantial and "somewhat" ongoing.
The man was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in jail, to be suspended after two months, with an operational period of two years, and three years' probation.
Originally published as Dad guilty of assaulting daughter's friend