Tree Problem No Problem owner Andrew Roy Wilson faced court on multiple child sex abuse charges.
Tree Problem No Problem owner Andrew Roy Wilson faced court on multiple child sex abuse charges.

Child sex abuser's bizarre investment property jail plea

AN ASSET-RICH business owner who sexually abused two young girls has a bizarre reason for not wanting to go to jail.

Andrew Roy Wilson says a stint in prison will impact his investment properties.

The owner of arborist company Tree Problem No Problem made the claim when he faced Brisbane District Court on Tuesday, pleading guilty to multiple charges of indecent treatment and maintaining an unlawful relationship with children under 12 and under 16.

The 56-year-old's abuse happened from 1993 to 1995, when one of the victims was aged nine and the other was 11.

Now aged in their 30s, both victims were in court to watch Judge Richard Jones order Wilson spend just four months in jail.

While the victims disclosed the abuse to another adult at the time, nothing was done to stop the offending and it only ended when Wilson moved to a new area.

The victims approached police in 2016 after seeing information about a sexual abuse disclosure scheme - he was charged in 2017.

Wilson made the girls touch his genitals, he touched the victims on their private areas, rubbed his groin on the front and back of their bodies, exposed himself to the children and kissed them, the court heard.

The abuse happened many times, including during a game of hide and seek and while one of the girls was sleeping.

The sleeping attack left the victim suffering soreness for a significant time after the assault, the court heard.

Tree Problem No Problem has four employees.

Wilson claimed his staff would lose their jobs if he went to jail and time behind bars would mean he could not pay the mortgages on his investment property portfolio.

The victims appeared distressed and shocked when the former South Burnett resident's barrister Chris Wilson urged Judge Jones to allow his client to walk free from court on a suspended sentence for this and other reasons including health problems.

"The punishment of losing all his assets would be disproportionate (to the crime)," Mr Wilson, who is not related to the defendant, said.

"There is a financial hardship to himself because he has substantial assets but is heavily indebted to those properties - he is likely to lose his retirement nest egg.

"There are others (employees) dependent on him."

Mr Wilson also argued his client did not "use force" on the victims, that the girls were "not physically harmed" and that his client had not re-offended in the 25 years since the assaults.

Judge Jones noted the many years between the offending, saying the final sentence needed to take this gap into account.

Judge Jones acknowledged Wilson (the offender) started his business 10 years after the abuse and that his success in running the operation for 15 years showed he had moved on with his life.

However, he said Wilson could have been spared a "hardship" by confessing to police off his own bat 25 years ago.

"He could have short-circuited the delay by turning himself in - there has been cases where people turn up at the police station and say 'I want to get it off my chest'," Judge Jones said.

Judge Jones said the attacks were "abhorrent" and had left a lasting impact on the victims.

"These young women have suffered as a consequence of your offending - it has had a detrimental impact on these young women's lives," he said.

Judge Jones said Wilson was at low-risk of re-offending even though a psychiatric expert had said the defendant still needed to undertake sex offender treatment.

Wilson will be released after four months in jail, but the remainder of his two-year term will be suspended for three years. - NewsRegional

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. 

News Corp Australia


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