Father's incest appeal quashed

Updated November 2 2012 - 3:33pm, first published January 24 2011 - 12:22pm

A MAN sentenced to 12 years' prison for sex offences against his daughter in Ballarat has lost an appeal against his jail term.The man, who cannot be identified, had his appeal heard in the Supreme Court of Victoria earlier this month.In June 2009, the man, then aged 48, pleaded guilty in Ballarat County Court to three counts of an indecent act with a child under 16 and seven counts of incest by a parent.He received 12 years' prison with a non-parole period of 10 years.A Supreme Court appeal judgement stated that the man started sexually abusing his daughter when she was eight.After the girl turned nine, the man was having regular sex with her, which continued for many years."At one point ... the appellant took her to Lake Wendouree ... at his suggestion they exchanged 'marriage vows'," the judgement stated.The court was told from then until the man was arrested in December 2007, he had sex with his daughter at least 10 more times.The judgement stated that while the man readily admitted his offending to the police but attempted to minimise the seriousness of his behaviour.He told a forensic psychologist "I don't think I was sexually abusing her, I was in love with her. She was like an adult ... she was very smart ... I was in a catch-22," the judgement read.After he was sentenced, the man appealed it on the grounds that the judge erred in finding there was no evidence of his remorse, that the judge erred by imposing a non-parole period and that the sentences and non-parole period imposed were manifestly excessive.But the Supreme Court found there was no basis for the appeal.The judgement stated that if ever there was a case warranting such a severe punishment, this was it."The appellant's sexual abuse of his daughter was protracted and of the most heinous nature ... it is difficult to imagine a significantly worse case of repeated incest," it read."Nothing less than a lengthy term of imprisonment would have sufficed to reflect the community's abhorrence of what took place."

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