Dad's devastation after daughter was sexually assaulted
A BUNDABERG dad whose seven-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by a stranger says he is devastated he could not protect his little girl from the "brazen" attack.
The 40-year-old father went, with his wife and two daughters, to the Thabeban home of Denis Christopher Barry in July last year, after responding to an advertisement offering reconditioned children's bikes for sale.
"I went there to buy a children's bike, which I found out about on eBay when I entered 'Girls Bikes Bundaberg'," he said.
"He operated as a bike mechanic.
"He told me he got the bikes from places like Vinnies and Lifeline."
While at the home, Barry asked the man's daughter whether she wanted to go outside and look at his pet birds.
"While I was putting the bike in the car, and while my wife was present, he inappropriately touched my daughter on her genitals on the outside of her clothes," he said.
"My wife saw my daughter freeze.
"My daughter told us straight away upon going back to the car."
The frightened and visibly distressed girl then went with her parents to make a formal police complaint.
"She knew what he did was wrong," the dad said.
"It happened very quickly, right in front of my wife.
"I'm gutted that I wasn't able to protect my daughter and I'm disgusted that these paedophiles in the community believe they are entitled to do this to small children."
The 66-year-old sex offender was sentenced in Bundaberg District Court yesterday for indecently treating the young girl after being convicted by a jury on Tuesday.
"He put her through all of that (the trial)," he said.
"(My daughter) was distressed that she had to give evidence to a judge and be cross-examined by the defence."
Barry was given a head sentence of nine months imprisonment, to serve four months before being released on two years probation.
"We believe that justice has been done and we are very happy with the court process," the dad said from outside the courthouse.
"We've spoken out in order to send a message to everyone in the community to be very vigilant.
"Be very careful when going to homes to buy secondhand goods where you don't know who you are dealing with."