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Court rejects appeal by dad claiming he endured ‘mental suffering’ when jailed for assault on daughter

Queensland’s highest court has rejected a man’s appeal against the jail term he was handed for molesting his daughter – between the ages of six and 10 – because it had caused him “mental suffering”. 

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane, in a decision published yesterday, dismissed an appeal by the man, identifiable only as “Johnsone”, against the three-year prison term he received because it was “manifestly excessive”. 

The court was told Johnsone was jailed by District Court Judge Ian Dearden after being convicted of two counts of indecent treatment of a child who was a lineal descendant. 

Johnson, who represented himself at the 9 November hearing, made a number of submissions regarding his grounds of appeal, including the mental suffering he had endured as a result of being charged. 

Court of Appeal President Walter Soforonoff QC, in his two-page written decision, said: “In oral submissions … (Johnsone) made a number of points to support his application for leave (to appeal his sentence).’ 

“First, he says that he was aware that some other offender … received much less (jail time than he had). That, of course, is beside the point. 

“The second, he submits the prison is inadequate for his health. The learned sentencing judge took (that) into account. 

“Thirdly, he says that while he was in prison, he allowed other people to live in his rented accommodation and they caused damage such that he has lost his bond. That is beside the point. 

“(Johnsone) also points to the mental suffering that he says (has) had to endure as a result of being charged. That is a suffering that undoubtedly every offender experiences after charges such as these are laid. 

“I would refuse leave to appeal.’’ 

Justice Sofronoff’s refusal of leave was supported by fellow Justices Hugh Fraser and James Henry. 

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