A judge has ordered a convicted child rapist to look at his now teenaged victim as she told the court of the terrifying knifepoint attack he forced her to endure on her way to school.
NSW District Court judge David Wilson on Friday told the man – a father-of-three who cannot be named for legal reasons – to open his eyes as he sat in the dock listening to the girl read out her victim impact statement.
He said he might be embarrassed and ashamed but had to face the reality of his “hideous offending”.
“You may be ashamed and embarrassed, but keep your eyes open and look at the witness,” the judge said in court.
After the girl, now aged 14, read aloud and through tears her statement, the details of which were suppressed so as not to cause her undue stress, Judge Wilson praised her “enormous courage” for facing her “evil” attacker.
Dressed in a ‘leafy ghillie’ camouflage suit, the man grabbed the then 12-year-old from behind and dragged her into bushland as she made her way to school on the state’s Central Coast in May 2017.
He then tied her to a tree and sexually assaulted her.
The man pleaded guilty to a total of 10 charges – seven involving the attack and three, the grooming and sexual abuse of another girl, aged 11, between August 2016 and April 2017.
The 12-year-old victim had been walking along a track when she looked back and saw him suddenly emerge from the bushes armed with a large tree branch and a knife.
When she pleaded “stop, stop, stop”, he put her in a headlock and forced her into the scrub.
The man told the girl, ”Shhh, don’t scream. Don’t scream or I’ll have to hurt you.”
Holding the knife in his right hand, he tied her hands and feet with cable ties before lashing her to the tree and abusing her for almost an hour.
After he cut her loose, the girl ran crying hysterically to school.
The man arrived at work about 9.30am after failing to reply to several text messages and phone calls from colleagues.
With dirt, grass and tree matter on his clothes, he claimed to have been involved in a road rage incident where he’d chased another driver into the bush and fallen down an embankment.
The man’s sentencing hearing continues on Tuesday.