A Queensland grandfather who sexually abused eight granddaughters over the course of 15 years has been jailed, 7News reports.
In court on Wednesday, the now 78-year-old — who cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims — admitted to committing 43 offences of a sexual nature against eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren from 2002 to 2018. Brisbane District Court Judge Vicki Loury sentenced the Vietnam veteran to 13 years behind bars.
The court heard that the man retired from the army after two decades of having “served our country with distinction”. He was married for 56 years, until his wife died in 2018.
According to the 7News report, the man became a very heavy drinker after returning to Australia from the war and began “self-medicating against post-traumatic stress symptoms”.
The court heard he maintained a sexual relationship with five girls, one for seven-and-a-half years. Two granddaughters were as young as three when his offending began. 7News reports that his crimes included digital penetration, performing oral sex and exposing some girls to him committing sexual offences on others.
One woman told the court by video-link that she was 24 years old when she realised she wasn’t the only victim. “In that moment when the offender decided that it was okay to touch, to abuse, to rape a child, he lost his right to call himself a human being,” she said. “He had us all fooled and it’s very disappointing that he will now die an old man – having lived a life that was completely and utterly empty – unloved and exposed as the monster that he is.”