The full impact of a father's sexual abuse of his daughter may not be clear to her now or for many years, a judge has said.
On Wednesday afternoon Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Alan Blow heard defence and prosecution submissions about the sentencing of a man last week found guilty by a Burnie jury of persistent sexual abuse of a child.
The court had heard over the course of the trial that the man had begun sexually interfering with his daughter when she was five-years-old, and that the abuse ranged from touching her genitals to penetration.
The child is now 11 years old, and Chief Justice Blow was provided a victim impact statement by Crown prosecutor Luke Brett.
Defence lawyer Julia Ker referred to a part of that impact statement which she said referred to the retraumatising nature of giving evidence in the trial.
Ms Ker said she did not doubt coming to court had further affected the child, but that the court could not punish her client for exercising his right to trial. Chief Justice Blow responded to Ms Ker to say the child might not yet be aware of "the enormity of what has been done to her".
We just don't know what the future will hold for her mental health.- Chief Justice Alan Blow
"But it could be really terrible for life."
Ms Ker said she did not dispute that.
Mr Brett said it was the Crown's position that the man's offending was aggravated in a number of ways including that the child, as his daughter, was under his care.
It was further aggravating the child was under 13-years-old at the time of the offending, and that some of the abuse occurred in the presence of other people.
He said that in line with the jury's verdict the judge could be satisfied all seven alleged occasions of abuse occurred.
"[The abuse] occurred against a backdrop of persistent and regular abuse," including touching, penetration and exposure to pornographic material, Mr Brett said.
The man will be sentenced on Tuesday, November 30.
For sexual assault support contact Laurel House on 6431 9711 or visit www.laurelhouse.org.au.
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