A 66-YEAR-OLD grandfather has pleaded guilty to six counts relating to the indecent treatment of his two young granddaughters.
The man, who can not be named to protect the victims, was sentenced in the Bundaberg District Court for the offences which occurred between January 2009 and September 2014.
The court heard five of the six counts against the defendant related to the youngest granddaughter and occurred when the girl was aged just five to 10-years-old.
Crown prosecutor Katrina Overell described the defendant's conduct as a gross breach of trust and said the defendant's actions had left a significant impact on the girls and their entire family.
The court heard the defendant regularly touched his youngest granddaughter's genital area on both the inside and outside of her underwear, usually when the victim was sitting in the defendant's lap.
Ms Overell said while the defendant had shown remorse, he denied his actions were for sexual gratification but accepted they were of a sexual nature.
Judge Michael Rackemann said the defendant's actions called for a period of imprisonment to serve as a deterrent and recognise the seriousness of his offending. "
It goes without saying that offences of this kind are particularly repulsive to the community," he said.
Judge Rackemann said the facts of the case were that the defendant had repeatedly touched the younger granddaughter when she visited his house.
"You would do that when she was sitting on your lap, when you were in a lounge chair and when you were sitting at the computer," he said.
"Sometimes you would have a blanket over the two of you to hide what was going on and on some occasions other people were in the room."
Judge Rackemann said a victim impact statement written by the girl's mother described how the defendant's actions resulted in the victims continuing to be uncomfortable around older males, anxious and withdrawn from school.
The defendant was sentenced to a head sentence of three years' imprisonment, suspended after 12 months.