An Iraq War veteran who raped his daughter has been jailed for more than seven years.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the child, was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court on Monday after pleading guilty to sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
The court heard the man had sex with his eight-year-old in the family home after a night drinking in March this year.
When she brought up the assault the next day he said he thought it had been a dream and urged her not to tell anyone.
But he was arrested days later when the girl confided in her mother, who called the police and took the victim to a doctor.
A victim impact statement by the girl’s mother, read out in court, heard the girl had suffered nightmares, had become socially isolated, lost her appetite and felt guilt in the wake of the rape.
The victim had started wearing layers of clothing to bed, could not trust men and had lost faith in humanity.
The mother said the loss of the family’s breadwinner had created financial difficulty and she had personally suffered physical and mental health problems as a result of the stress.
A pre-sentence report said the man had developed a drinking problem, consuming between 20 to 40 standard drinks each day, after developing post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following two tours of duty in Iraq.
He told the author he had flashes in his head of the assault when his daughter told him the next day and only gained total recall after a week in jail.
He described his behaviour as “gross and horrifying”.
He was rated a low risk of re-offending but the report author said the man had failed to fully understand or accept accountability for his actions.
Chief Justice Terence Higgins jailed the man for seven-and-a-half-years, backdated to take into time spent in custody, with a non-parole period of four years.