Illawarra man accused of fondling child tells victim's mother he has 'sleep sex apnoea': court

An Illawarra man accused of fondling his ex-girlfriend’s daughter while she slept in the couple’s bed told the mother he suffered from “sleep sex apnoea”, a court has heard.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, dated briefly in the late 2000s however continued living together and sleeping in the same bed up until 2014.

The court heard the now-15-year-old daughter sometimes shared the bed with the man and her mother, who took prescription sleeping medication, when she was younger. 

She claims the man repeatedly molested her between 2012 and 2014, when she was 10 to 12 years old, while her mother slept between them.

Police documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court said the alleged abuse came to light after the victim’s mother said she woke one night and felt her ex-boyfriend reach over her and touch her daughter.

She told police she was “very groggy” from her medication and wasn’t sure if the incident had happened, prompting her to decide to reduce her medication intake the following two nights to see if it occurred again.

It is alleged the man touched the young girl on both nights (on the third night the mother had not taken any of her medication, police said).

The mother confronted her ex-boyfriend. She claims he didn’t respond and “pretended to be asleep”.

She kicked him out of the house soon after, however stayed in contact with him and during one phone conversation, asked him what happened.

It is alleged the man told his ex-girlfriend he wanted her to see his psychiatrist so they could explain his “sleep sex apnoea”.

Details of the man’s alleged condition were not further revealed in court.

He was granted strict bail in court last week on the condition that he forfeit $1,000 surety, stay away from any witnesses in the case and not be in the company of anyone under the age of 16.

The case returns to court November 15.