Horrific life of girl, 9, mum dressed in ‘Playboy outfit’
A GOLD Coast mum yelled, wailed and curled up in a ball in the dock as she was found guilty of dressing her nine-year-old daughter in a "Playboy outfit" and holding her hands as men raped her.
The 41-year-old was wearing a green correctional centre smock. Her hair was wild and, for the first time, a large black tattoo - previously concealed by make-up - could be seen on the left side of her jaw.
"It's so wrong," the woman yelled. "This didn't even happen."
Two legal students, two members of the public and a court worker were the only people present in the public gallery to see her fate. Not one member of her family was there to support her.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was pale, petite, gaunt and sported plum-colour hair.
The verdict had been delayed after the mum was admitted to a psychiatric ward about 2½ weeks ago. A judge had to issue an arrest warrant for her appearance in court yesterday.
The scenes in the Southport District Court were vastly different to three weeks ago, when the woman fronted court accused of three counts of rape and one count each of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child, deprivation of liberty and indecent treatment of a child.
Judge David Kent yesterday found the mum guilty of all charges.
On day one of the trial last month, the woman had peroxide blonde hair and appeared bored, tired and jittery. She sat through hours of video evidence as her now 15-year-old daughter told how she was repeatedly woken by men lying on top of her. She was dressed in a "Playboy outfit" consisting of "bunny ears" and a black, lacy dress.
The details of what her mother did to her are too horrific to repeat in full.
The girl said the sexual assaults would happen up to every second night from May 13, 2014, to May 14, 2015, while her father was in prison.
Each time it was a different man.
The day that evidence was played to the court the girl was in a Brisbane hospital on suicide watch.
The mum returned to court the next day, having dyed her hair plum in the Surfers Paradise hotel paid for by her mother.
In the following days she would dress in grey, black and white and have her hair tied back. She was often spotted crouching near the courthouse doors smoking a cigarette and drinking a can of Coke during breaks.
The judge-only trial took place at the end of last month. It was the second trial after the mother launched a successful appeal.
The mum's disturbing actions were discovered when the young girl wrote a note to her psychologist in July 2016.
"When I was in bed, mum used to come in with friends and touch me improperly (sic)," she wrote.
She said her mother would "undress her and be naughty" and on "some occasions she would wake up in weird clothes".
The girl also told police she heard her mum asking the men for money.
No men have been charged with abusing the girl and police found no evidence that the mother was receiving extra cash.
The mum was convicted in February 2018 of the six charges and acquitted of four others, including rape and indecent treatment, during the first trial. She later successfully appealed the guilty verdicts and a retrial was ordered.
In an unusual move, the second trial, which took four days, was in front of a judge only as it was believed it was in the interests of justice due to the acquittals of the previous charges.
The mum faces a lengthy period in prison. The maximum penalty for rape of a child under 12 is life.
The girl is still in recovery and has been left with devastating mental health issues.
Her dad told the court during the trial that the girl, now 15, was in hospital on suicide watch.
"I have to put up with a child who has tried to kill herself three times," he told the court.
"If you think this is some kind of con job, I'm the one paying the joke. If I made some story up then the joke is on me."
The girl had a difficult life from well before the abuse.
The court was told the girl had spent almost two years in the care of her grandparents and an aunt and uncle as the Department of Child Safety had removed the girl and her three sisters from her parents.
It was with her grandparents she developed a love of Nippers and became involved in sport.
When the girl's father went to prison for drug-related matters things began to fall apart even more.
Her mother moved another family into their three-bedroom home, meaning the four sisters and the children from the other family were crammed together.
The abuse allegedly started when they moved out.
Multiple witnesses said they saw men coming and going from the house and there was evidence of drug use.
Department of Child Safety officers interviewed the girl at her school the day before her father was released from prison.
They had received three reports the girl may have been exposed to drug use, violence or had someone be violent to her.
The girl did not complain she was being mistreated or abused.
Just weeks after his release from prison and after a number of arguments with the woman, the dad moved the girl and her sisters away from the Gold Coast.
About 12 months later he noticed the girl was starting to be withdrawn.
The dad took her to a psychologist and in July 2016 she wrote that devastating note, which prompted the psychologist to go to police.
"(The girl) never opened up to me about it," the dad told the court.
"It's something she kept private quite immensely."
It took police two attempts to get the full story after she refused to reveal too much to a male officer.
Finally, they managed to get the full, horrifying detail and court proceedings commenced in late 2016.
The mum will be sentenced later this year once additional psychological reports are obtained. She will remain in custody until then.