ACT News

Babysitter sentenced to jail for molesting niece

An intellectually disabled man has been jailed for molesting his niece while he babysat her.

But the man will be granted early parole because Canberra jail's sex offender program could not cater for his special needs.

The man pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court in August to committing seven acts of indecency and one count of attempted sexual intercourse with a child under 10.

He appeared for sentence before Justice John Burns on Wednesday.

The court heard the man had minded the young girl about 30 to 40 times between January 2011 and August 2013.

He molested her on a number of occasions while she had been in his care.

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He made full admissions to police after the victim disclosed the abuse to her mother in August last year.

He was arrested and has been in custody since.

The court heard he had been a well-behaved prisoner while in custody, but had displayed a number of mental health issues during that time.

A pre-sentence report said the man had shown remorse, but his disability meant he had little insight into the crimes and the effects they had on the victim.

The man had also been diagnosed as suffering a paedophilic disorder.

The court heard his intellectual ability had impaired his impulse control, but did not prevent him from making rational decisions. 

The report author said he posed a risk of reoffending if these issues were not addressed.

But neither the sex offenders' program or the jail could provide appropriate treatment due to his mild intellectual disability.

The court heard one-on-one counselling would be required as the man would be vulnerable in a group setting.

The court heard his disability also meant his time in custody would be harder as he would be isolated and more vulnerable to harassment.

Justice Burns said the man's disability reduced his culpability, but was not an excuse.

"[This was a] serious breach of trust on your part," he said.

The judge said he would require appropriate treatment upon his release.

Justice Burns jailed the man for three years and nine months, with a non-parole period of 18 months.

He will be eligible for parole in February next year.

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