Mackay dad lured kids with popular flick Frozen

A MACKAY region father used the popular family film Frozen to ply his children into his marital bed to repeatedly sexually abuse them, a court has been told.

Now a born-again Christian undertaking bible studies behind bars, the man claims he too had been abused as a child - tortured with a cattle prod after his own dad sold him off for a carton of beer.

For more than three years, two girls and a boy aged between five and 10 were raped and indecently touched by the man aged in his 40s.

When the children's mother left for work of a morning, the father struck, sometimes convincing the children to commit sexual acts on each other.

Often, the popular kids' movie Frozen was loaded up on an iPad - seemingly used as inducement amid the abuse being inflicted.

The man's twisted behaviour escalated, and he eventually became so brazen he abused one of the girls in a bathroom on Christmas Day, 2016.

Celebrating the festive season on the deck, family remained unaware of the psychological damage being wrought under their noses.

Eventually, the father's prolonged offending came to a shuddering halt when a babysitter walked in on him indecently touching his daughter in the kitchen.

The babysitter told the man's wife before raising the alarm with police, who wasted no time knocking on the man's door and arresting him.

The father initially told police he had memory lapses, and blatantly lied about the nature of his crimes, claiming he mistakenly touched his daughter when she climbed into his bed, believing it was his wife.

Eventually though, the truth came out.

It's likely little could have prepared the officers involved for the disturbing nature of the man's unexplained actions.

Those actions led to the man pleading guilty to 19 charges - dated between 2013 and 2017 - when he fronted the District Court in Mackay on Wednesday, after spending almost 500 days locked up.

His crimes included four counts of rape and 15 counts of indecent assault as a lineal descendant.

The man, who had no prior criminal history, kept his eyes downcast for much of the hearing, barely making a sound as his crimes were detailed.

We're unable to name the man to protect the identity of his children.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said the man's "gross breach of trust" occurred over a "three to four- year period", in which "all three children were sexualised by the defendant".

"That is to say, that he not only abused them, but he encouraged them into a position where what became a normal activity for them was to engage in a process of sexual adventure with him, if I can put it in that way," he said.

"That included making (the boy) engage in sexual acts with his sisters. He was forced to watch his father's sexual activity with his sisters."

The man's crimes included an "aspect of punishment and reward", Mr Walklate said, and the boy had been "struck with a stick" and "threatened with a belt" at times.

"The use of punishment and reward extended, in my submission, to the use of the iPad," he said.

The worst of the man's "diverse" sexual offending was considered to be the "penile-vaginal rape of a five-six-year-old child", Mr Walklate said.

But the abuse included group masturbation, digital penetration, simulated rape, fondling and ejaculating on the girls.

However, the father's barrister Scott McLennan (who was instructed by Legal Aid Queensland) argued the iPad was not explicitly used to manipulate the children.

Ms McLennan added the father had "stopped when asked" and told the court there had been no "actual violence" against the girls.

He detailed his client's childhood, claiming the defendant's father, an alcoholic, gave his young son to a mate for a "carton of beer" and he "tortured (the defendant) using a cattle prod. poking him with steel objects and hitting him".

"He has still flashbacks and occasional nightmares about these incidents," he said.

The father was described as having a good work history, and as a born-again Christian who had been trying to enter a sex offenders course in prison.

The father's "disgusting" actions constituted "one of the greatest breaches of trust I think a human being might be able to perpetrate", exclaimed Judge Brad Farr.

"You failed in your parental responsibilities in every sense of the word," Judge Farr said.

The man had no prior criminal record, but Judge Farr stated that was not unusual when such charges were before the courts.

The Mackay region father was sentenced to an overarching term of eight years jail.

His crimes were officially declared serious violent offences.

That means the father will have to serve 80 per cent of the term before eligible for parole, and no date was set by Judge Farr.

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