Gladstone man released despite attacking young girls

A 45-YEAR-OLD Gladstone man escaped further imprisonment after he was sentenced for the indecent treatment of two children under 12.

The man appeared in the dock in Gladstone District Court on Friday morning, where the court heard of two incidents during which the man had indecently dealt with two separate victims, both aged 10 at the time.

He was sentenced on five separate counts from December 4, 2011, during which the man was at a house in a wrestling game with two children.

When one of the children left the room, the man molested a 10-year-old girl.

Crown Prosecutor Susan Hedge argued the man had shown determination during the attack, after the girl had slapped him trying to stop the attack.

The defendant had befriended the other child's father through a church community, and had been living at the family's home when the other child invited the girl around to play.

It was then that he preyed on the innocent victim, before threatening to hurt her if she told anyone of the attack.

A victim impact statement tendered to Judge Paul Smith said the victim had lost her innocence as a result of the attack.

The second indictment heard on Friday related to January 17, 2013, when the man tried to kiss another girl aged 10 on the mouth four times.

Ms Hedge argued the second indictment had included an element of grooming the victim, after the man had purchased gifts for the girl and referred to her as his "adopted daughter".

"He poses at least a moderate if not high risk of re-offending," Ms Hedge said.

One doctor's report stated there was a fairly significant risk of re-offending, as the defendant had a non-exclusive, heterosexual paedophilic orientation, which required cognitive behavioural therapy if the man was to have any chance of rehabilitation.

The man was released on a two-year probation order, with 305 days already spent in custody ruled as time served.

The 18-month balance was suspended for three years.