A 35-year-old father who sexually abused his own daughter over a period of seven years could spend more than a decade in prison.
The North-West man was found guilty at a Supreme Court trial back in September this year of at least three out of seven alleged instances of sexual abuse against his daughter.
It was noted at the time that all 12 jurors agreed that three occasions of abuse had occurred, but had not agreed on which three.
During sentencing Justice Robert Pearce reminded the court that the jury had not needed to agree on the three instances to be satisfied of the charge of persistent sexual abuse of a child.
The judge, however, told the court he would sentence the man on the basis that he was guilty of the most serious allegations.
These included forcing his daughter to touch his penis, inserting his penis into her anus, and inserting a dildo into her vagina.
The court heard that the victim was the man's daughter from a "brief relationship" in 2006, and that he did not know of her existence until she was nearly two.
The girl's mother became ill and died in 2012, after which the girl would stay regularly with her father and his then wife.
She continued to stay frequently with her father after that relationship ended in 2016.
The abuse came to light in 2017, when the girl approached a police officer who was giving a presentation at her school on the topic.
The girl reported at the time that her father had been touching her since age five or six.
"I found her to be a truthful and compelling witness," Justice Pearce said.
"Her description was clear and consistent. When cross examined in 2020 she did not waiver from the account."
Justice Pearce was scathing as he recounted the toll the period of "sustained sexual abuse" had taken on the young girl, as described by her before the full court.
"It hardly needs to be repeated that the sexual abuse of children ... almost inevitably caused psychological harm, likely lifelong in this instance," he said.
"She said she felt emotionally withdrawn, unclean, fearful and unsafe.
"She was under your care ... there could hardly have been a greater breach of trust. Not to mention that of her mother, who entrusted her to you before she died.
"You robbed her of the secure, safe and loving childhood she was entitled to expect."
Justice Pearce sentenced the man to 12 years in prison, backdated to September 17, 2021. He will be eligible for parole after six years.
The man's name will also be recorded on the National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders for 15 years after his release date.