A Victorian man who sexually abused a nine-year-old girl and told her father that she “wanted it” has been jailed for at least three years.
Keith Dudley, 58, was on Thursday sentenced to a maximum of four-and-a-half years in prison, with a minimum of three years, for indecently and sexually assaulting the girl.
A jury found Dudley guilty of five counts of indecent assault with a child under 16, and one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 10, following a trial in the Victorian County Court.
The young girl was abused between 1994 and 1995 in regional Victoria.
On one occasion, Dudley exposed himself while driving.
“You told her that what you had done was wrong and she shouldn’t tell anyone about it,” Judge Frank Gucciardo said.
Dudley also told the child he wanted to “help her to be an adult”.
The girl’s father confronted Dudley about the abuse.
“When asked why you assaulted her, you said ‘she wanted it’,” Judge Gucciardo said.
The victim also confronted Dudley about the abuse as an adult, and decided to report him to police in 2015 after realising he had no remorse.
The woman said she did not hate Dudley or feel pity for him.
“All I wanted from the start was for him to get help and feel regret and remorse,” she said in a victim impact statement.
Judge Gucciardo said Dudley has displayed a “wanton indifference” to the effects of his repulsive acts.
“You betrayed her trust and her parents’ trust,” the judge said.
“You exploited her vulnerability, naivety and above all, her innocence.”
Dudley represented himself at trial after sacking two teams of lawyers.
On Thursday he complained about his trial and questioned Judge Gucciardo’s directions to the jury.
“I reject the suggestion that I did nothing to recognise your disadvantage as being unrepresented,” the judge said.
“To a large extent, you failed to cooperate for a large part of the trial.”
Dudley, who has already spent 84 days in pre-sentence custody, said he would commence legal action in the Supreme Court about his detention.