A husband and wife will today be sentenced after they pleaded guilty to subjecting their daughters to horrific sexual abuse.
A husband and wife will today be sentenced after they pleaded guilty to subjecting their daughters to horrific sexual abuse.

Parents to face jail for horrific sexual abuse

A COUPLE who raped their two young daughters are facing sentences of nearly 20 years in jail.

The husband and wife subjected their daughters to horrific sexual abuse for years through violence and coercion, the Townsville District Court heard yesterday.

The father, 44, and mother, 35, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty to charges of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16.

The court heard the father raped his two daughters hundreds of times and when faced with resistance from one of his daughters against his "painful" assaults, would verbally abuse her.

Crown prosecutor Melanie Franklin told the court how the sexual abuse escalated quickly to serious acts, including threesomes involving the mother.

Ms Franklin said the abhorrent abuse was a gross breach of trust and involved a high degree of violence and manipulation.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said his client was a victim of sexual abuse himself, but understood what he did was wrong.

"They (the children) made it clear they didn't want it to happen," the father told a psychologist.

Mr Walters said during a psychological assessment, the father saw himself as the primary offender, with his wife being a victim of circumstance.

Mr Walters said the man's intelligence levels were at the lower end of the scale, and he couldn't understand the impact on the girls as it was beyond his cognitive ability.

Ms Franklin in her submission acknowledged the mother wasn't "a willing participant" but failed to protect her children and was grossly negligent.

The mother sobbed in the dock as she listened to the submission.

The court heard how she was subjected to abuse herself as a child and had a troubled background.

The mother met her husband at the age of 18 and endured years of domestic violence and manipulation in her relationship.

Her defence barrister Scott Geeves cited the woman's early guilty plea, her abusive relationship and sparing her children the ordeal of cross examination in his submission.

Mr Geeves said the mother was willing to accept full responsibility for her actions, had an "extremely guilty conscience" and considers herself "deserving of the punishment handed down".

A psychological assessment undertaken of the woman found she "displayed significant remorse".

"I'm at fault because I didn't protect them," the mother told the psychologist.

The report also found the risk of the mother reoffending was extremely low.

The couple remain in custody and will be sentenced today by Judge John Coker.

 



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