Years of terror: Bundaberg child rapist jailed for 13 years
FOR six long years a Bundaberg girl was subjected to persistent and protracted sexual abuse at the hands of her mother's former partner.
It robbed the now 29-year-old her childhood and left her with a lifetime of night terrors and anxiety.
But it took less than three hours for a jury to convict the man responsible and he now faces almost 14 years behind bars after being sentenced in the Bundaberg District Court on Tuesday.
On the second day of his trail, the now 51-year-old man was found guilty of the single charge of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child, after the jury accepted the sexual abuse began in 1995, when the woman was just six years old, and continued until 2000.
The court heard the abuse occurred so frequently the woman couldn't remember every single offence, but it began as touching and progressed to oral sex and penile rape.
The six-man, six-woman jury heard "one of the worst periods of abuse" was when the victim's mother was away in hospital giving birth to her younger step-sister.
"The accused would abuse her as much as twice a day whilst her mother was away," Crown prosecutor David Nardone told the court.
"He would remove her shorts and underwear ... he would then get on top of her ... and have sex with her."
During the trial the court also heard the woman tried to stop the abuse by crossing her legs or pulling away from the man, but he was too strong and would punch or squeeze her arm or leg and use violence to compel her to comply.
During sentencing the court heard the man had a history of sexually abusing young girls, with the Bundaberg man convicted in 2012 of sexual offences against three girls, two of whom where aged under 12 at the time.
Mr Nardone submitted that a sentence of up 18 years would reflect the serious nature of the abuse and protect the community.
But Defence lawyer Bill McMillan submitted that 12-14 years was in range and his client would endure a tougher time in prison than most prisoners because he suffered heart and mental health issues.
Judge Michael Rackemann told the man he had subjected the woman to years of terrible abuse while he was in a position of trust.
"Not only did you callously abuse that trust, you also resorted to physical violence," he said.
"These actions occurred repeated and persistently over an extended period of time."
The man, who can not be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to 13 years and eight months jail.
He was also declared a violent offender, which means he will serve at least 80 per cent of the sentence.