A mother forced her 13-year-old daughter into a sexual act with a truck driver in exchange for some diesel fuel, a court has been told.
The Downing Centre District Court heard today that, following a Father’s Day visit with her dad, the girl’s mother dropped her off on the F3 Sydney to Newcastle freeway and forced her into the cab of a truckie twice her age.
The mother later siphoned diesel from the man’s truck, which prosecutors say was in exchange for the child. It was the third time in 2004 that the young girl had been forced into sexual acts with the man by her mother – but this time she was left alone with him for seven hours, the court was told.
In November, the girl’s mother and the truck driver – neither of whom can be named for legal reasons – were found guilty of a combined total of more than 60 charges, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and aggravated acts of indecency.
At the man’s sentencing hearing, Crown prosecutor Gina O’Rourke said the pair should face similar sentences because the offences had resulted from a joint criminal enterprise. The truck driver might have been the “physical perpetrator” of the offences, but the girl’s mother had been an active participant, Ms O’Rourke said.
The pair had been in a casual sexual relationship prior to the offences and were intoxicated – ice for the woman, and speed for the man – at the time of at least one of the incidents. Ms O’Rourke said the girl had been repeatedly victimised and there were a number of disturbing and troubling factors that put the offences in the higher range of seriousness.
The truck driver had denied committing the offences, and despite being found guilty had never admitted any responsibility or shown any remorse, she said. But in a victim impact statement to be read to the court this afternoon, the girl says she does not want her mother to be punished, saying she has forgiven her, the court has heard.
“She has no real understanding of the culpability of the mother’s offending against her,” Ms O’Rourke said, adding that the statement should not mitigate the sentence. “She has a desire for her mother to accept her and love her unconditionally.”
Judge Greg Woods questioned whether locking the mother up would be the best solution for her daughter. “She is still a young girl, and what impact does it have on her if her mother cops a decade or so in prison?” Judge Woods asked. “And what effect does that have in relation to the question of the deterrence … is that likely to deter other young children from coming forward at all?” The hearing is continuing and the mother’s sentencing hearing is due to begin this afternoon.