Man, 82, faces court on sex abuse charges

A GRANDFATHER accused of placing an underage girl's hand down his pants faced Warwick District Court yesterday.

The 82-year-old's granddaughter claims she woke up to find the man holding her hand in his pants while she slept in what was labelled The Punishment Room.

In the first day of the trial, the jury heard two police interviews and a pre-recorded witness statement from the girl.

The first police interview was conducted on April 15, 2013.

The girl told the investigating police officers her uncle and mother questioned her if her grandfather had ever touched her.

"I said yes, everyone started crying, they were all pretty upset," she said.

The girl, who is currently 15-years-old, said the events occurred sometime between September 2007 and December 2008.

"Mum was away working all the time, grandad used to come and stay with me and my four sisters," she said.

"He always seemed to like me better than the other girls.

"He'd asked me a few times if I knew what a penis was and I said 'yuck no I don't'."

The girl said she shared a room with two of her sisters.

"I was scared of the dark so sometimes grandad would stay with me until I fell asleep," the court heard.

"He used to grab my bottom when I'd walk past him; he also used to make me sit on his lap while we were watching TV."

The complainant said she could clearly remember the night she woke up to find him beside her bed.

"It was like 3am and there was light outside," she said.

"I realised he was holding my hand in his pants.

"He realised I was awake and pulled his hand out and walked away. I just laid there. I was scared and didn't know what was happening."

The child told the officer the next day she pretended nothing had happened.

"The night it happened he was angry at me because I didn't eat the dinner he cooked," she said.

"He didn't come and say goodnight to me, I was happy because I was getting older and I wanted my space.

"I loved going to school because I didn't have to be with him because every morning I would wake up feeling gross."

The investigating officer asked the girl about her mother, who is the man's daughter.

"Mum works long hours, she's gone from around seven in the morning until like eight at night," she said.

The girl continued to tell the investigating officer when the family moved from Warwick to the Ipswich region, the indecent treatment continued.

"Before dinner I would always lay on my bed and read my book," she said.

"I developed boobs quite early and he would come to my door and look down my top while I was lying on my bed.

"I'd cover up and he would walk away."

The second police interview was conducted with the girl on November 22, 2013, where she clarified with police the events occurred before her family left town.

The family moved from Warwick when the girl was in Year 6, 10 turning 11 years old. The girl's witness statement recorded on March 21 this year was played to the jury.

The defence lawyer accused the girl of making up the events to seek attention to which she answered "I strongly disagree".

The defence lawyer said the girl lacked attention from her mother due to her four other sisters and her mother's various partners.

Yesterday afternoon the jury heard from the girl's older sister, however during the pre-recorded evidence Crown Prosecutor Kathleen Millican stopped the footage and Judge Gregory Koppenol dismissed the jury.

The trial continues today.



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