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1. Man jailed after abusing children at childcare.
Warning: This item deals with sexual abuse of children.
The husband of a family day carer in Victoria has been jailed for six years and three months after abusing four young children at a family day care centre run by his wife.
The man, 62, was found guilty by a jury in two separate trials of 16 charges of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.
His victims were three girls, aged 3, 4, and 8, and a boy aged 9 reports The Age.
The man’s wife had been the registered operator of a family day care centre being run out of the family home. She cared for pre-school children throughout the year, and for primary school children during school holidays.
The man was unemployed and had access to the children.
In jailing him the judge said that the man “used that access” and “exploited the trust of the parents and your wife to offend against them,”
“Each of the parents speak at their profound sense of betrayal that you could have done this, that this could happen in the family day care centre where each of them had for so long entrusted their children to your wife’s care, and that you could be allowed access to them, unsupervised, contrary to the conditions of registration of the family day care centre.
“All parents expressed deep grief and guilt about this happening to their children, about their not knowing it and about their being unable to protect their children or prevent it.”
The judge spoke of the guilt that the parents of the four children felt at the abuse that took place while they believed their children were being cared for.
“All mothers expressed the conflicted feelings they had about not being home to look after their children, because they were working, studying, or seeking much needed respite to look after their own mental health needs.
“The fathers spoke of their anger and shame that they had somehow failed to protect their children. Many spoke of others blaming them for placing their children in day care: as if that was a failure of proper parenting, or a failure to take proper care.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. These were gorgeous, happy, loved and well cared for children.”
The judge said the parents were in no way to blame for what happened.
“No parent has any rational basis for feeling guilty about placing their children in care in what was a vetted and licensed family day care centre, and one about which each of them had conducted their own careful and thorough inquiries.
“Having said that, I appreciate that, for parents, guilt, blame and a sense of responsibility about matters affecting their children, even those outside their control, can sometimes seem to be just part of burden of responsibility that goes with being a good parent.”
The Victorian man was jailed for six years and three months with a non-parole period of four years and nine months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.