Victim’s family support defendant in carnal knowledge case
"I DON'T see a lot of good dad's sir, I see a lot of bad dads … but every person speaks about how good a dad you are."
These were the words of Magistrate Terry Duroux as he sentenced a man for two serious offences with some unusual circumstances.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty this week in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to two counts of carnal knowledge of a child under 16 as a domestic violence offence.
The court heard the man, who had no prior criminal history, was in an open and consensual sexual relationship with a girl who was 14 years old at the time while he was 18.
In Queensland, the age of consent is 16.
By the time the girl was 15, she was pregnant with twins.
The court heard the twins were now in the full-time care of the man and had not seen their mother for 18 months and that he wanted both children to have a meaningful relationship with their mother's family.
The man's barrister Nick Larter said the charges came to light after the relationship between the pair had broken down in 2018.
He tendered two glowing character references to the court from the family of the victim.
Mr Larter said in his time of practising, he hadn't seen a circumstance like it.
He said there was not a large age difference between the two like in other cases.
Mr Duroux agreed the circumstances were "quite extraordinary" and he took a short adjournment to think over his decision.
He said while the circumstances were extraordinary, the charges were still serious.
Mr Duroux said it was pleasant to see the man was a good father and it wasn't something he saw often of in the circumstances.
"You've acted responsibly, you want your children to have a close relationship with their extended families … I don't see much of this."
The man received a dual probation and community service order.
He was required to complete 12 months probation and 120 hours of community service.
A conviction was not recorded.