Mother sold daughter, 12, for sex in Tasmania

A MOTHER prostituted her 12-year-old daughter so she could pay off her home loan and buy a couple of Commodores, a court has heard.

The mother, of Glenorchy in Tasmania, who cannot be named for legal reasons, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Hobart Supreme Court to unlawfully procuring sex with a child, being the commercial operator of a sex business and receiving a fee derived directly from sexual services provided by a child, The Mercury reports.

Crown Prosecutor Daryl Coates told the court the 41-year-old woman and Gary John Devine had decided to prostitute the girl when the woman complained she was short of money.

Devine has been jailed for 10 years after he admitted his part in selling the girl for sex to more than 100 men over a four-week period in August and September last year. At the time the girl and another younger sister were under protective orders. The order was due to end in October but she was allowed to return to her mother’s care in June.

The court heard that the mother complained to Devine and her daughter that she did not have enough money and that someone had stolen cash out of her purse.  Mr Coates said Devine then suggested the 12 year old could become a prostitute which the pair agreed to.  After an advertisement was placed in The Mercury the next day offering the girl as “Angela, 18, new in town”.

A room at the Midcity Hotel was then booked by the mother and a key was given to Devine.

Mr Coates said the mother then went and bought two packets of condoms for her daughter to use during her two-day dealing in the hotel where she was sold for $100 for half-an-hour and an extra $50 for men who did not want to use a condom.The court heard the girl made $2000 a day.

The court also heard that Devine remained with the girl during the two-days, knocking on the door to advise the men their time was up.

While he waited he also drank all of the mini-bar in the room, a matter the mother later complained of because she did not receive her room deposit back as a consequence.  Mr Coates said the mother was asked by her older 15-year daughter where the 12-year-old was.  “I can’t say, I’ll get into trouble, no one is meant to know,” the woman replied at the time.

She said: “It doesn’t matter, we’re going to get money out of it and we’re going to get two Commodores, one for you and one for your sister.”

When questioned about the matter again by the older daughter the mother confessed saying: “she’s lying on her back working for money in the city … we’ll be able to pay off the house and get the car window fixed.”  The court heard the woman was paying $180 per fortnight off her home loan that she had received from the Commonwealth Bank.

However the mother had re-drawn on the loan about five years earlier during a period of heavy drug use, to complete renovations on her home. However, the money was instead used to buy drugs.  Mr Coates said the money made through the prostitution was split between Devine, the woman and the girl, who spent her share on drugs.

The sex business then continued at Devine’s home where the mother would bring supplies of personal lubricant and condoms for her weekly work from Thursdays and Sundays.  He said the girl had since been diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases including genital warts and chlamydia.

The mother initially denied knowledge of the business in two separate police interviews. She finally admitted her role in the crime when she was charged in February this year.

The woman’s defence lawyer Rochelle Mainwaring said the crimes were “horrendous” and her client was struggling to comprehend what she had done. However, Ms Mannering said her client had been struggling with drug abuse and depression at the time of the offences.  The woman sobbed in the dock throughout the hearing as the details of her crimes were read to the court.

Justice Peter Evans adjourned the sentencing until Friday.

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