Two sisters who grew up on the northern rivers have been forced to relive a decade and a half of sexual abuse by their father and grooming by their mother in a Sydney court.
The sisters – now young women – have been kept apart by the court for the last five years as they are both witnesses at the trials of their parents.
One of the sisters, a promising athlete, recounted to the court how she was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by her father from the age of five, and that when she didn’t perform up to his expectations she was variously placed in a barbed wire cage and locked in a tiny box normally used for storing sporting equipment.
The names of the whole family have been suppressed by the court for legal reasons.
The father has been convicted of 73 child sex offences against his daughter, and the mother of 13 counts of acting indecently towards her child.
The elder daughter was first raped when her mother was in hospital giving birth to the second.
But far from being ignorant of the attacks, the mother allegedly tutored her daughter on how to better pleasure her father and at times made her perform sex acts on her as well.
The court heard that, as he sexually and physically abused her, the girl’s father would tell her ‘all I’ve ever wanted is to be a good father’ and ‘I can do what I want to you. I own you’.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that one Father’s Day, when the girl was 10, ‘he made her bring him coffee in bed and then forced her to perform sex acts on him.’
Her father would tie up her hands and leave her inside an old chicken coop for up to three nights at time, the SMH reported.
As the girl grew, the attacks became more sadistic.
The report said father would rape her and then molest and mutilate her using tools from inside the shed.
In November 2011, after being hospitalised in a mental health clinic, an apprehended violence order application to protect the girl from her parents was to be heard in court but the parents tried to force the daughter to come home.
As a result, she called police and the parents were arrested and charged.
SMH reported police searched their home found buried tools and bloodied clothing the girl had hidden during her years of abuse.
The parents will be sentenced next month.
NSW Family and Community Services Child Protection Helpline (24 hours): 132 111
Kids Helpline (24 hour service specifically for young people: 1800 551 800
Child Wise National Child Abuse Helpline: 1800 991 099