A WOMAN wept and then put her head in her hands as she pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting her infant granddaughter on a change table to shoot a pornographic video.
The woman and her former partner, both of whom cannot be named for legal reasons, are being sentenced in Wagga District Court on a raft of charges relating to the production, use and dissemination of child abuse material.
“They were in it together, as thick as thieves,” Judge Deborah Payne said of another video of a child, aged two to three, shot by the couple as the toddler sat in the back seat of a car.
The videos and thousands of pornographic images of other children were found on devices after the man was questioned by police on February 19 and then the couple’s home at Young was raided.
The court on Thursday heard confronting evidence, including that the toddler was crying while the couple made a brief first attempt to video her as she sat in the back of the car before succeeding at their second try.
“They did not care the child had a sore stomach, they kept on going and achieved what they wanted to do in video two,” Judge Payne said.
“It is a grave breach of trust.”
Crown advocate, Andrew Lynch, put to the judge that the child in the car was a vulnerable victim under the authority of a grandmother and a man in the role of grandfather.
“They were working as a team,” Mr Lynch said of the offenders. “She was helpless in the back seat of that car, your honour. We just don’t know what the effect this incident will have on that girl.”
Defence counsel for the man, Colin Heazlewood, said his client had expressed remorse, suffered depression at the time of the offending and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“His confession was full, frank and detailed,” Mr Heazlewood said.
Defence counsel for the woman, Christine Mendes, began her submissions late Thursday.
Judge Payne may be in a position to sentence the offenders next week.
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