A FORMER Victoria policeman who sexually abused his partner’s nieces for five years was sentenced to six years in jail on Thursday.
The man, who cannot be named, abused two girls under the age of six from 1982 to 1987, “grossly abusing
his position of trust”, according to judge James Montgomery.
On Tuesday, the man was found guilty by a jury at a County Court sitting in Ballarat and was convicted of 12 charges of indecent assault and four charges of gross indecency.
In sentencing the man, Mr Montgomery said: “To interfere with them (victims) in the way you did was not only appalling but an affront to behaviour in civilised society.
“Your actions have polarised your family and had a significant impact on the victims’ lives.”
Mr Montgomery said taking the matter to trial showed the man had “absolutely no remorse” for his actions.
Both victims read out emotional impact statements, which detailed how the abuse had torn their family apart.
The first victim said she had suffered depression and nightmares ever since the incident and struggled daily to “put on a brave face”.
“He took away my childhood and innocence and I’m fighting every day to make sure he doesn’t ruin my future,” she said.
The second victim said she was made to be an adult before her time.
“How I wish I’d spoken up when he first abused me,” she said.
“He took naked photos of me; not knowing where they are gives me nightmares.”
Crown prosecutor Sandra MacDougall said the man, who had been a member of Victoria Police for 15 years, had committed a gross breach of trust.
“The fact that it went to trial means the court can be satisfied there is a complete lack of remorse,” she said.
Defence counsel for the man, George Traczyk, said: “A human tragedy has unfolded in the courts as a result of what (he) did. He has only himself to blame.”
He urged Mr Montgomery to take the man’s age, his position as an ex-policeman in custody and his crimes into sentencing consideration.
The man has three outstanding charges relating to other victims, which
have been adjourned to August 25.
Mr Montgomery said the man, who has been placed on the sexual offenders register for life, must serve a minimum of four years before being eligible for parole.