A depraved father who treated his two daughters as sex slaves during a reign of abuse spanning more than a decade was jailed yesterday for 16 years for the “ruthless” exploitation of the sisters.
In what was described as one of WA’s worst examples of family abuse, the victims, aged eight and 12 when they were first assaulted, were attacked so regularly that they grew up thinking their relationships with their father were normal.
As a result, they continued to have sexual relationships with him into adulthood, with the youngest of the sisters aged 26 when she was last raped in 2009.
It was a case so shocking that District Court Judge John Staude likened the 64-year-old’s crimes to sexual slavery.
“It was not occasional or opportunistic but a regular activity upon which you insisted and to which the victims became accustomed,” he said.
Judge Staude said the domineering father controlled his daughters by his mood, with the girls submitting themselves to his “sexual predations” so that he would be kind to them.
Giving evidence last month during a trial so disturbing the jury was offered counselling, the elder daughter testified she just wanted to make her father happy.
“I wanted him to be proud of us kids,” she said.
“He was just always so angry and grumpy so it seemed to be the one thing that made him happy.”
Asked why she reported the abuse, she said “the damage had to stop”.
She said it was “the hardest thing I could ever do”.
The father would often abuse the girls in the family’s garage, enlisting them one at a time to help him restore an old car.
As they were raped, they were told to keep watch out of a window or through a crack in the door to avoid being caught.
He also assaulted one of the girls on the floor of his work van, telling her that he would show her “what boys would want to do with her”.
The man separated from his wife and his younger daughter moved in to his Cloverdale home where they lived as a couple.
“She said it felt like she had become the new woman in your life,” Judge Staude said.
The younger daughter was in Year 3 at the time her father was brought to the attention of the Department for Child Protection.
The father was arrestedlast year.
She told her school friends she was being paid “extra pocket money” to give her father “special massages”. She later denied those comments “out of fear”, Judge Staude said.
Her sister, in Year 10, broke down at a school camp and told a teacher she was not coping with what was happening at home.
She told the school chaplain about the abuse, but it was never reported.
Judge Staude said the father corrupted his daughters and denied them the love and respect they were owed.
“You ruthlessly exploited your daughters’ filial affection and loyalty,” he said. “You used authority and force in combination to coerce your daughters to bend to your will.”
The man’s lawyer, Simon Watters, said his client maintained “his stance of denial”.
Judge Staude imposed a permanent violence restraining order, banning him from contacting his daughters.
He will be eligible for parole after serving 14 years jail.