Victoria

Man raped daughter who tracked him down after 20 years, court hears

An estranged father raped the pregnant daughter who had tracked him down after 20 years apart and invited him to stay in her home, a court has heard.

The Melbourne woman, who cannot be named, began searching for her father in 2014 and eventually found him in Queensland.

Despite discovering he had a history of violence and had been jailed for assaults, she invited him to visit her and her family at their home.

The father, his partner and their son arrived at the woman's home in October 2014, and stayed in the spare room.

Court of Appeal Justices Simon Whelan and Anthony Cavanough said the woman told how she had been "really excited to see him [her father] here and finally meet him".

"This was the first time meeting my father. He was happy to see me too ... I was just so excited and happy to finally meet my real dad."

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The judges, when agreeing to reduce the man's four-year jail sentence for incest, said the woman had been home alone with her father later in October 2014, when he told her, "Give Dad a hug."

They hugged and he then asked for another hug but this time began kissing her on the neck and had his hands around her waist, the court heard.

The woman pushed her father away, sat down and sarcastically said: "If you're gonna be like that you may as well take me to your bedroom."

The court was told the father then asked her to follow him into the bedroom before he pushed her on to the bed and raped her, saying, "I love you forever."

"I didn't say anything or do anything," the woman said.

"I felt I had to co-operate and not say anything. I was worried I might get hurt. I thought that if I tried to stop him, he would get angry.

"I knew he had a very violent past and had been in jail for physical assaults."

The court heard that the father then told his daughter to freshen up and he left.

"I was very confused with what he said and I still am," the woman said.

"I felt gross that it was my Dad. I just wanted to get in the shower as I felt so dirty."

The woman told her husband what had happened and he contacted police.

The father told police after his arrest: "OK, I'm gonna tell you. She made me have sex with her ... I tried to say no. I didn't want to lose her."

The father, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of incest and was jailed for four years with a minimum of two years but appealed his sentence.

The appeal judges agreed to reduce his jail term to three years with a minimum of 18 months after reading a psychological report about the intellectually disabled man's tragic background.

The report revealed the man, brought up in Queensland, claimed his mother had been an alcoholic who had boyfriend after boyfriend and only cared about her next pension cheque to buy more alcohol.

The man claimed he and his siblings would have Weet-Bix for breakfast and Weet-Bix with water or powdered milk for dinner.

He began smoking cannabis when he was 10 and left home a year later to live with his grandmother before beginning a relationship with a 26-year-old neighbour.

After about nine months, he moved out and lived on the streets or in youth hostels.

He was 14 when he began a relationship with his daughter's mother but claimed she walked out 26 days after giving birth to the girl when he was 18.

He claimed the daughter's mother had only wanted to get pregnant to claim the single mother's pension.

The appeal judges sentenced the father on the basis he had pleaded guilty to incest and had not been charged with rape.

The father admitted having sex with his daughter but denied raping her.

Mark Russell

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