A Rosebery man who abducted a five-year-old child from a campground near Smithton held his head in his hands as a judge told him he would be in prison for at least four more years.
Cecil Maurice Mabb's Supreme Court case came to an end on Thursday afternoon when Justice Robert Pearce sentenced him to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of four years.
Mabb, 42, pleaded guilty just days after he abducted and assaulted a young girl who was riding past him on a bike. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting one of the Parks and Wildlife officers who later discovered him hiding in the bush near Arthur River.
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On January 24, 2021, the young girl and her family arrived at the Montagu camping ground for a camping trip. Soon after the family arrived, their daughter rode off on her bike with a young boy, the son of a family friend.
The court heard Mabb had parked his ute into the bush nearby, and, as the two children rode past, had grabbed her from the bike by her legs and choked her.
Justice Pearce said the girl had screamed while the young boy pleaded with Mabb to put his friend down.
The boy returned to the campsite, "terrified and distressed" and reported what had happened.
The girl was located about 5.30pm that afternoon, alone and on a beach about a kilometre from the campsite.
Minutes later, the police received a call from Mabb, who told them there was an "extreme emergency", and that he needed professional help.
A search was commenced, and the 42-year-old man was found at Arthur River by a Parks and Wildlife officer, whom he threatened with a hammer.
In sentencing, Justice Pearce described a background of "considerable deprivation" that led to the incident, as well as the impacts of the media publicity the trial had attracted.
He said Mabb's guilty plea and remorse had to be taken into account.
"He has also suffered for his actions independently - his caravan, shed and personal possessions have been destroyed by vigilantes," Justice Pearce explained.
"He has received harsh treatment from other prisoners.
"Nevertheless, it must have been a terrifying experience for the child."
The judge described serious injuries sustained by the girl, as well as the nightmares, anxiety and fear that have followed her since.
"The full impact is not likely to be known for a long time," he said.
He said no evidence had been found to support Mabb's claim of cannibalism, and that he could not be punished for a sexual crime he did not commit.
Mabb was sentenced to six years, backdated to November 25, 2021.
Justice Pearce ordered for Mabb to be placed on the Community Protection Offender Register for six years once he is released from jail.
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