No more jail time for Navy veteran who molested children

A NAVY veteran has admitted to molesting children over a time frame of 30 years.

The now 74-year-old pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent treatment of boys under 14, and one count of indecent treatment of a boy under 16.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker told the court that in the mid 60s, the man would drive from Sydney to Townsville; stopping at Maryborough along the way.

On two occasions, the veteran took advantage of this stop-over to molest a male cousin, who was between the age of nine and twelve at the time of the offences.

Between the late 80s and early 90s, the veteran went on to touch three other boys - one was his second cousin, and the other two were mates with his family member.

The court heard that the Fraser Coast man had previously been convicted of molesting three other children.

Ms Baker told the court the man had been sentenced in 1973 and again in 1994.

"There were no threats or violence, but in my submission there didn't need to be," Ms Baker said.

"[The defendant] tried to normalise the behaviour; he treated it like a game."

The man's defence lawyer Travis George told the court his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and many other health issues.

"[The defendant] has significant mobility issues…in 2014, he suffered a stroke and takes a cocktail of about 17 different medications per day," Mr George said.

Mr George said the man had completed a sex offenders program following a previous sentence.

The lawyer told the court the man had served as a medical officer on the HMAS Melbourne, and now received psychiatric support as part of a post-traumatic stress disorder program.

Before Judge Ian Dearden handed down his sentence, the man told the court he had changed for the better.

"I don't want anything to do with that type of life again," the man said.

Judge Dearden said he took into consideration the man's serious health issues, and the 16 days he spent in custody, but highlighted the seriousness of the man's actions.

"Your actions have had a life-time affect on your cousin and to this day it still affects him," Judge Dearden said.

"He still thinks about it constantly and he was cheated out of his birth rights...his own choices."

The man was sentenced to a prison probation order of three years, and will be registered as a sex offender.

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