Mum lets girl, 9, sleep in man's bed

A PEDOPHILE repeatedly molested a nine-year-old after the girl's mother let her sleep in his bed.

The 33-year-old man faced Ipswich District Court to admit indecently dealing with his friend's daughter.

But the court heard the girl's mother and the man's female flatmate both knew the child would often sleep with him in his bed when she slept over at his house.

The man, who cannot be named, hopped into bed with the young girl late on a night in late 2009.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Farnden said the girl awoke to find her pyjama pants had been removed and he was indecently assaulting her.

The girl started crying and the man's flatmate then came into the room to find them cuddling.

The child later complained to her mother who went to police.

The man denied the offences and said the girl had woken up after a “bad dream” in which someone had pulled her pants down.

Judge Sarah Bradley said the case was very odd and repeatedly questioned why the girl was regularly allowed to sleep in the man's bed – interrupting the prosecutor's submissions.

“There were two adult women, including the mother of the complainant, who were aware that the complainant – a nine-year-old girl – was sleeping in the same bed as the defendant?” Judge Bradley asked.

Ms Farnden said the man was only charged with one offence but the depraved behaviour had been consistent over a few months.

“The mother clearly had some trust in him,” Ms Farnden said.

The man pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent treatment of a child aged under 12.

He was sentenced to six months jail and two years on probation.

The girl lives with her father.

Defence barrister Peter Sloane said his client was a loner who had grown up in various foster homes and was on the disability pension.

“He has a problem dealing with people and society,” Mr Sloane said.

“He just doesn't fit in.”

But Mr Sloane said the man was now engaged to a woman he met on the internet.

Mr Sloane said the girl was fond of his client and the mother knew her child slept in his bed.

“It was quite strange,” he said.

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