Lambton County dad gets 10 years in prison for years of child abuse

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A Lambton County father’s horrific sexual and physical abuse of his young daughters sent him to prison for 10 years.

The man, in his mid-30s, previously pleaded guilty to 13 offences covering about 10 years, but sentencing was delayed until Thursday in Sarnia court.

The offences included assault, assault with weapons including a cutting board and an ax handle, assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault and having sexual intercourse with a daughter. Two daughters were involved in the physical assaults, but only one was the victim of sexual offences.

A victim impact statement written by the current caregiver for one of the girls said the father manipulated the girl so he could have sex with her and treated her like his girlfriend.

It was horrible abuse and included beating her in the stomach when he believed she was pregnant, according to the caregiver’s statement.

The daughter’s impact statement said she was left feeling like she did not deserve to live. The court was told the girl had been cutting herself after she was removed from the home.

In support of a joint submission by Crown and defence lawyers for the 10-year sentence, assistant Crown attorney Nila Mulpuru quoted a ruling from a different case that stated those who prey upon innocent children will pay a heavy price.

The primary sentencing concern must be denunciation and deterrence of such crimes while the father’s rehabilitation is a secondary issue, said Mulpuru, who described him as a high-risk to reoffend.

While it does not excuse the father’s crimes, he was the victim of sexual and physical abuse as a child, defence lawyer James Guggisberg said.

Ten years is a fit and appropriate sentence for the father’s heinous acts, Guggisberg said.

The man had no criminal record.

A mitigating sentencing factor was the man’s guilty plea after his daughter’s testimony during a preliminary hearing, Guggisberg said.

The father came to him with a full confession and genuine remorse after the hearing, Guggisberg said.

The connection between a victim becoming perpetrator of sexual abuse is well known but does not mitigate sentencing, said Justice Mark Hornblower.

“He had to have known from the outset, it was wrong,” Hornblower said, referring to the one daughter’s abuse continuing for more than eight years.

In speaking to the sexually abused daughter, Hornblower said being a victim does not have to define her. He noted that during the preliminary hearing she had shown herself to be poised, intelligent and courageous.

“You demonstrated an ability to stand up for yourself and others and fight for justice for yourself and others,” Hornblower said.

It was recommended the 10-year sentence be served at a facility best suited to provide rehabilitation of the man, including a psychiatric evaluation along with anger-management and sexual-offender counseling.

He will be on the sexual offender registry for life.

He will be under a lifetime ban on being at any public park where people under 16 could be expected to be present and he can never work or volunteer where he would be in a position of trust for those under 16.

The man must give police a DNA sample and he cannot contact his children while in custody.

The father accepts communication with his children may never come as it will be at their discretion, his lawyer said. A publication ban that protects the victims’ identities also prevents publishing of the man’s name.

nbowen@postmedia.com 


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