A large group of supporters surrounding two victims of child sexual abuse hugged and wiped away tears as the perpetrator was found guilty of 11 charges.
One person clapped as Kenneth MacDonald, 73, was escorted into custody from the dock in Wollongong District Court on Wednesday, after a jury handed down its verdict following six hours of deliberations.
MacDonald was found guilty of 11 historical charges, being five counts of sexually assaulting a person under 16, four counts of assault and commit an act of indecency to a person under 16, and two counts of sexual assault and commit an act of indecency to a person under 16.
The northern Illawarra pensioner was found not guilty of one charge of sexually assaulting a person under 16.
Several witnesses took to the stand over the course of the six-day trial, including testimonies from the two victims and the officer in charge of the investigation.
MacDonald's opportunistic and brazen offending against two young girls happened frequently between 1980 to 1989.
One of the minors was aged four when the abuse began with the court hearing "almost every interaction" with MacDonald involved him either touching her breasts, back, or private parts.
His offending ranged from sexual touching to digital penetration.
The court heard the abuse predominantly happened during neighbourhood gatherings or in his garage.
The first victim disclosed the abuse in 2020, prompting a police investigation.
Police approached the second victim who provided a statement detailing similar alleged indecent assaults, as well as several separate occasions where MacDonald forced her to perform oral sex in his garage.
The second victim on two occasions revisited MacDonald's home with a recording device attached to her without him knowing, however, he denied what he had done.
A report was ordered ahead of MacDonald's sentence date on February 23 to examine the circumstances around his offending.
MacDonald's bail was revoked on Wednesday and he will await his punishment from behind bars.
- If you or someone you know is sexual violence contact the national sexual assault, domestic violence counselling service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.