Stephen Grimmer, the older brother of murdered toddler Cheryl Grimmer, has been sentenced to three years and two months behind bars for molesting a teenage girl on multiple occasions in 2016.
The Mount St Thomas man fronted Wollongong District Court on Friday to hear Judge Richard Weinstein impose a non-parole period of two years.
Grimmer, 55, was convicted of three counts of indecently assaulting a person under 16 years of age after he inappropriately touched the 14-year-old, known to him through family friends, while holidaying at the popular park in Sussex Inlet in April 2016.
A set of agreed facts tendered to the court said Grimmer kissed the girl, who described him as a "father figure", on the lips while both their families were staying at the park during the Easter holidays.
Grimmer isolated the girl and at one point told her, "I wish I was your age".
He also molested her by putting his hands down her pants, touching the outside of her vagina and touching her breasts.
The girl said Grimmer touched her "lots of times".
In one particular incident, Grimmer took the victim out for a trip on his boat and tried to force himself on her, despite the girl telling him to "stop".
He kissed her lips several times and put his hand inside and outside her bra. Grimmer later told her not to tell anyone as he would get in trouble.
During another encounter later that same year, Grimmer again touched the girl inappropriately.
The girl eventually said she "could not handle it any further" and the allegations were reported to police.
Grimmer was arrested in April 2017 and made a late plea of guilty in October last year.
In court on Friday, Judge Weinstein detailed one psychologist report that said Grimmer was unable to identify the impact on the girl and was mainly concerned about how he would pay his mortgage if sentenced.
Whilst another psychological report stated Grimmer was "anxious", suffered from "sleep disturbances" and had "suicidal thoughts".
Grimmer's defence submitted he was remorseful and aware of his actions.
His sister-in-law Linda wrote a letter to the judge saying her family could not be in court to support him because of media coverage.
She said he was "not a threat to the community" and had "shown remorse".
Judge Weinstein agreed with the Crown's submission that a term of imprisonment was warranted because of the age difference between the victim and Grimmer; the relationship of trust and the crimes occurred over multiple occasions.
The Crown also submitted that there was intrusion under the victim's clothing including flesh to flesh contact and touching of the victim's genitalia; and that there was grooming and predatory behaviour leading up the crimes.
The defence submitted a community corrections order would be appropriate given Grimmer had "independently sought out rehabilitation in the form of a psychologist" and has "good prospects of rehabilitation".
"Due to the seriousness of the offending, I find that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate," Judge Weinstein said.
Grimmer cried through the sentencing and wiped away tears with his shirt as he appeared via audiovisual link from the South Coast Correctional Centre.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Weinstein also took into account that it would be Grimmer's first time in custody, that he would require considerable supervision, counselling and rehabilitation.
He will be eligible for parole on March 26, 2022.
Grimmer, along with his brothers Paul and Ricki, have spent decades trying to unearth what happened to their three-year-old sister Cheryl, who disappeared from Fairy Meadow Beach in January 1970.
Police suspect Cheryl was kidnapped and murdered but the case remains unsolved to this day.
A Victorian man was arrested in March 2017 and charged with Cheryl's murder however the case against him was dropped in 2019 after key evidence was ruled inadmissible for use in court.
There is no suggestion Grimmer was responsible for his sister's disappearance - he was only six years old at the time.