A sexual predator who repeatedly molested his stepchildren enlisted his partner's support in the ongoing abuse as she allegedly allowed the man to rape her young son while she sat nearby, a court has heard.
The 64-year-old Illawarra man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to a minimum 10 years' jail in Wollongong District Court yesterday for sexually assaulting his stepchildren for nearly a decade.
Judge Paul Conlon said the man had exploited the children in the worst possible way.
"So overwhelming was the offender's sexual depravity that he was [allegedly] able to enlist [his former] partner, who sat idly by and in effect, provided encouragement for the offender to rape her son," he said.
"... the fact the [man] was prepared to carry out the offences [allegedly] in her presence, cannot totally be ignored."
The man, who pleaded guilty to the abuse, continuously molested the children from 1972 to the mid '80s.
It is alleged the man's partner sat nearby while he raped her eight-year-old son and had simply laughed when her daughter, aged 16, told her the man had molested her.
The man started dating the woman in the early '70s and the abuse began soon after, the court heard.
The man molested one of the children when she was just five after her mother took her to the man's home and left her there.
The girl tried to flee but her mother, who was waiting nearby, dragged her back to the offender's premises.
Several years later, the man assaulted his partner's eight-year-old son.
It is alleged the boy's mother made him stay up after sending the other children to bed and then sat nearby during the assault.
In 1983, another girl, then aged 16, woke to find the offender molesting her. It is alleged the teen told her mother what had happened and the woman simply laughed at her.
The next day, the teen confronted the man and her mother about the abuse, causing the man to physically assault her while her mother allegedly stood and watched.
Judge Conlon conceded it was easy to understand the psychological injury inflicted on the victims.
"My involvement in the criminal law extends over 30 years [and] during that time, I've become hardened to 'ugliness'," he said.
"However, when reciting the present facts, it is hard not to be moved."
The court was told the offender had admitted to almost daily fantasies about young girls.
He said he had often committed the offences "out of the blue" when he was close or alone with the children.
The court heard the man had some medical problems but was willing to complete a sex offender program.
The man, who was given an overall 14-year jail term yesterday, had been sentenced in February to a maximum 10 years' jail for sexually assaulting several other young children.
He will be eligible for release in 2028.