A Perth father who repeatedly sexually abused his young daughter and offered her up to a string of paedophiles he met through on classified websites has been jailed for 22.5 years.
The man, who can not be named to protect his daughter’s identity, facilitated a local paedophile ring that had at its centre his now 14-year-old daughter.
He subjected the child to years of abuse at his own hands and organised for other men to assault her after putting advertisements on websites such as Craigslist.
District Court Judge Philip Eaton today jailed the man for 22.5 years over the depraved and degrading crimes, which he said probably had “irreparable consequences” for the girl.
“You completely disregarded her welfare,” he said.
“I have no doubt that you derived perverse sexual enjoyment while doing so.
“You in fact allowed complete strangers to treat your daughter as a sexual object and treated her like that yourself.”
The man turned away from the public gallery and covered his face with his hand as details of the horrific breach of trust that rocked senior police and sent shockwaves through WA were revealed in court.
Over two years, starting from when the girl was aged 11, the father allegedly introduced her to at six other paeodphiles and allowed them to rape, molest and drug her.
The girl was also forced to pose for pornographic photographs and videos.
The court was told the father watched on a number of occasions as the strangers he met online assaulted his child.
He joined in the abuse at times, provided condoms for some of the men and encouraged his daughter when she did not want to take part in the sexual activity.
On one occasion, when the father and another man were filming the girl, she was shackled to a bed, her face was covered and she was forced to wear a dog collar with the word b*tch on it.
In the footage, the girl could be seen struggling against the restraints and is heard saying “stop, please dad”.
Police swooped on the girl’s father and removed her from his home as part of Operation Ripstop after a tip-off in April last year.
Her father and seven other men were then arrested and charged with a combined total of 503 offences.
A number of the men later offered to give evidence against the father.
Before the sentencing, the man told a psychologist he regarded himself as a caring and thoughtful father.
He provided a letter to the court in which he expressed his “remorse, regret and utter shame”.
In a police interview, he said he had regrets about what he was done and described his behaviour as “fun while it lasted”.
“I have regrets about things that I have done wrong,” he said.
“I really want to get out of this scene because it was, I am going to be honest, fun while it lasted but it went over the line.”
The girl’s parents are separated and she lived alone with her biological father at the time of the offences.
Prosecutor Justin Whalley said the girl was entitled to look to her father for protection but instead he had subjected her to abuse and degradation.
“We say this case represents one of the most serious examples of sexual offending against a child ever to appear before a criminal court in this State,” he said.
“In terms of his remorse we say, if it exists, it is certainly belated.”
Former Christian pastor and married father Dawid Volmer – the first of the paedophiles to be sentenced – was sent to prison for at least eight years and six months last year.
During Volmer’s sentencing hearing, the court was told the girl’s father sat blindfolded in the corner of his bedroom while the sexually addicted preacher fed her drugs and raped her.
Benjamin Simon Clarke was jailed for three years in June for taking sexually explicit photos of the victim.
Mark Wesley Liggins, who was arrested as part of the investigation into the paedophile ring but was not accused of abusing the girl at the centre of it, was jailed for more than two years in May.
After he was caught up in Operation Ripstop, Liggings admitted using a chat site to sexually converse with and exchange indecent pictures with other girls as young as 11.
Nicholas Adam Beer has pleaded guilty to 163 charges, including sexually penetrating a child and indecently recording a child, and is expected to be sentenced in September.
Another three men who were arrested as part of the investigation are still before the courts.
After the girl’s plight was made public, Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan described the allegations as the most disturbing he had ever encountered.
The man will be eligible for parole in December 2036.