A man who spent his teenage years in Bowen has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his sister in 1968. Photo: File
A man who spent his teenage years in Bowen has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his sister in 1968. Photo: File

Ex-Bowen brother admits to sexually abusing sister 53yrs ago

A distraught sister has delivered a harrowing account of the trauma she suffered after her brother sexually abused her as a teenager.

The man, who spent his teenage years in Bowen and cannot be named for legal reasons, faced court on Friday and admitted to forcing his then 14-year-old sister to perform oral sex on him 53 years ago.

He was in his late teens when the abuse took place and now at 72 years old, he has pleaded guilty to unlawful and indecent treatment of a child under 16 on an unknown date between January 1 and December 31 in 1968.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Emma Myors told Bowen Magistrates Court when the girl was 14 she went to Townsville from Bowen for a medical check-up and stayed with her brother and his wife overnight.

The girl's brother drove them both up to the top of Castle Hill and forced his sister to perform oral sex on him.

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Sgt Myors said the girl hated her brother for doing it and in 2009, the man visited his sister and apologised for what he had done.

But the girl, who is now a 65-year-old woman who lives in Perth, stood up to tell the court about the terrible suffering she had endured in the years since the abuse.

The woman told the court she was so traumatised by the incident her mind had blocked it out, but by the age of 46 her memory started to return.

She said over the past 20 years she had begun to understand how the unusual behaviour she had displayed in her life could be traced back to that horrific night in 1968.

The woman told the court she triple checked her doors were locked, took her dog into the shower so he could bark if someone was trying to enter and still feared the dark.

A man has faced the Bowen court after abusing his sister in 1968.
A man has faced the Bowen court after abusing his sister in 1968.

She suffers insomnia, has felt guilt and shame and is on strong medication that a psychiatrist said she would need to keep taking for the rest of her life.

"Extreme physical shaking in my entire body in any exam I undertook was an abnormal level no matter how well prepared I was, causing me to fall below average standards," she said.

"This attitude of severe anxiety and inability to cope didn't help when I needed to hold down a job many times over the years when we struggled."

The woman broke down in tears as she told the court she never had the opportunity to tell her mother she forgave her for not believing her.

"You have taken away from me the total happiness I should have had with my husband and children," she said.

Sgt Myors told the court if the man had been charged for the offence in the present day, he would be facing a charge of rape.

Generic image depicting child abuse
Generic image depicting child abuse

The prosecutor said the man was already a reportable sex offender for life in Victoria because of a different offence and a term of actual jail was appropriate.

Barrister Ross Malcomson said the man had travelled from his home in Melbourne to "face the music".

Mr Malcomson told the court the man moved to Bowen when he was 12 and completed his schooling at Bowen State High School before joining the Defence Force.

The court heard during his 21 years of service the man won awards including the Australian Defence Medal and since leaving the RAAF, he has taken on volunteer roles in Victoria.

Mr Malcomson said the man acknowledged the seriousness of the offences and accepts the damage he had caused.

The barrister said because of the man's remorse, the fact he cared for his unwell wife and the lapse in time since the offence, the jail sentence could be suspended.

Magistrate James Morton told the man he wanted time to consider his sentence, so he remanded the 72-year-old retiree in custody and adjourned the matter to Tuesday.

"I am considering jail as a sentence," Mr Morton said.

"I need to consider how I'm going to do it."


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