Top athletics coach who raped his own daughter for over a decade, starting when she was just five years old, loses bid for freedom
- Rapist remains behind bars after losing appeal over 73 convictions for freedom
- Sentenced to 48 years in prison for rape of daughter from the age of five for 15 years
- He put broken tools in daughter and kept her underwater as punishment
- His wife, who was also in prison, appealed against her sentence and sentence
An athletics coach who has been in prison for nearly half a century for brutally abusing his daughter has lost a shared decision due to his 73 convictions.
The man, who was in his early sixties, contested the judgments of the NSW District Court jury in 2016 and the 48-year term pronounced by a judge calling his actions “depravity of an almost unimaginable size.”
His wife, who was in prison for 16 years for her knowledge of the attacks, also appealed her conviction and sentence.
The father raped his daughter several times from the age of five. At one point he placed a broken stool in her and kept her underwater as a punishment (stock)
The Court of Criminal Appeal rejected all appeals by majority on Thursday, with the deviating judge finding the jury’s judgments unreasonable.
The victim, who represented Australia as a junior, testified during the trial of 45 separate incidents in the 15 years to 2011.
The incidents ranged from countless rapes from the age of five, with a broken tool inserted into her and held underwater in a stream as punishment for allegedly weak athletic performance.
Many of the attacks took place on family property in a chicken coop known as ‘the barn’.
Justice Desmond Fagan said the jury should have had reasonable doubts about the level of detail the complainant could remember, especially for the incidents that would have occurred in her younger years.
“Perhaps such physically painful, emotionally confusing and terrifying events, as the complainant described in early childhood, would have been so impressive that if nothing remarkable had followed, detailed memories would remain indelible,” he said.
“But the complainant’s unlikely claim was that she could bring back memories of the individual traumas, with specific sexual details and in order, after more than ten years of constant inhumane abuse of a similar kind.”
The man, who was in his early sixties, contested the judgments of the NSW District Court jury in 2016 and the 48-year term of a judge calling his actions “depravity of an almost unimaginable size.”
He also wondered how the victim had claimed that she didn’t appreciate the abnormal sex with her father until she was eighteen, while she never spoke to peers about the abuse.
If her father’s activities seemed normal, based on the fact that she thought her family was different and special – as (a psychiatrist) speculated – there would have been no shame and thus no inhibition to talk about what happened said the judge.
But Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Judge Elizabeth Fullerton said it was up to the jury to find out what they did after hearing firsthand the complainant’s weeks-long evidence and the testimony of the mother and father.
“The verdict was not unreasonable,” said Chief Justice Bathurst.
“In short … I have no doubt that it was up to the jury to make guilty statements about (those counts),” said Judge Fullerton.
Justice Fagan also found the mother’s sentence clearly excessive and would have cut six years from her full term.
The three judges agreed that they rejected several other pleas.
The mother is eligible for release in 2027. The father’s minimum term ends in 2049.