Peepholes for girl's sex trysts

AN IPSWICH father drilled peepholes into the wall of his teenage daughter's bedroom so he could watch her while she was in bed with her boyfriend.

The 42-year-old Minden man and his family moved into a newly built house at Minden, west of Ipswich, in 2000 and not long after the mother discovered holes had been drilled through the wall between her daughters' bedrooms.

A small bookcase hung on the other side of the peep holes, and it too had holes drilled in it.

The daughter had adorned the bookcase with ornaments but anyone who looked through could see directly to her bed.

An Ipswich District Court jury was told the victim's younger sister saw her dad looking through the holes at a time when her elder sister was in bed with the boyfriend.

The man, who cannot be named, pleaded not guilty to unlawfully maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16, rape and indecent treatment.

The trial lasted two days and the jury took three hours to convict the man on all counts.

Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic told the court the father started molesting the eldest of his three daughters in 1998, when she was 10.

The rapes and indecent treatments occurred for six years until she was 16 and started seeing a boyfriend.

Ms Balic presented the jury with the bookcase which hung on the other side of the peep holes.

The bookcase had large peep holes drilled into it at the top, allowing anyone to look through to clearly see into the other room.

Ms Balic said the mother was cleaning her daughter's room in 2001 and noticed the holes - which were unusual for a newly built house.

The mother asked her husband and the daughters if they knew why or how the holes got there, to which all said no.

That same year, when the girl was 13, she made a statement to police about the abuse.

But the prosecution told the court the girls and their mother "disappeared" and didn't formally press charges until last year.

The daughter, who is now 24 years old, gave her testimony to the jury in a closed court.

Judge Deborah Richards remanded the man in custody and he will be sentenced for all six counts on July 9.



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