ACT News

Victim urges Cameron Tully to repent over 'evil' crimes against children

A victim of Cameron Flynn Tully has urged him to repent over his "evil" crimes against children.

The woman, who was 11 when Tully molested her in the bathroom of her family home, used a victim impact statement to explain how the "pain and damage" caused by the offender had "overflowed into so many aspects" of her life.

But Tully, 40, continues to deny he molested eight young girls in the 1990s and early 2000s while their parents gathered as part of a religious group.

In June, an ACT Supreme Court jury took almost three days to find Tully guilty on 18 counts of rape and acts of indecency against the children.

Much of the abuse took place on the Tully family "Hillview" farm in West Belconnen.

The children would go the property when their parents met for church group, ladies' meetings, and home birthing groups.

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Girls were abused in the shearing shed, and in the laundry, library, and bedrooms in the farm's main rammed-earth building.

One was lured into a room with the promise of a kitten, and another molested as Tully gave her a piggyback ride.

But the molestation was not confined to the Hillview farm.

Tully molested one girl, not yet four, during a game of hide and seek at a Canberra home.

Tully appeared before a Supreme Court sentencing hearing on Friday, where 12 victim impact statements were read. 

One victim said she had been trapped into a false understanding that she had to keep the abuse secret, and felt partly responsible.

She described feelings of anger, depression, and helplessness, and had viewed herself as dirty, used, tainted, and unworthy.

She advised Tully to be repentant over "the evil you have done".

Another victim, who was four when assaulted, said she had gone from innocent to damaged and broken within the space of a day.

But the woman said she had stopped being a victim and had become a survivor.

She said she had pledged her life to helping other survivors of sexual abuse.

Tully, who sat still, looking straight ahead through much of the proceedings, became visibly agitated when another victim faced him while reading her victim impact statement.

She told the offender he had taken her "innocence", but she had managed to rebuild her life with the love and trust of her family.

Another woman spoke of how her young daughter had been affected by waking her mother from persistent nightmares. 

The father of a victim labelled Tully a "sick, evil individual".

Defence barrister Ray Livingston said his client continued to maintain his innocence, had no criminal history, and had received threats while in custody.

Mr Livingston said Tully was married and a loving and devoted father, and of good character.

But the Crown said Tully's good character had given him access to the children.

Prosecutor Trent Hickey said the offender had abused that position and trust.

Mr Hickey said the crimes had caused serious and lasting harm to the victims and their families.

The prosecutor said Tully had shown no remorse and no insight into his offences, and this showed he had no prospects of rehabilitation.

Justice John Burns will deliver his sentence in October.

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