Kingsley Corbett, a 27-year-old Tennant Creek man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for the rape of a two-year-old girl in the Northern Territory town in 2018.
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Corbett, who had been in custody since his arrest, appeared before the Alice Springs Supreme Court and pleaded guilty to raping the girl 15 February 2018.
Crown prosecutor, Glen Dooley, told the court that the offender entered the girl’s home, took her from the lounge room where she was sleeping, and raped her in the bedroom of the house. He then returned the girl to the lounge room where her mother and brother were sleeping.
‘This is a crime that deeply disturbed the Tennant Creek community and the nation,’ Mr Dooley told ABC.
During submissions, Mr Dooley told Justice Judith Kelly the child contracted a sexually transmitted infection from the rape and suffered significant psychological damage.
‘We have here the most vulnerable of victims, [the offender] was clearly not a man of good character,’ shared Dooley.
The sentence was backdated to 1 September 2018, when the offender first went into custody. In her sentencing remarks, Justice Kelly said the offender had caused harm to the victim’s whole family and deeply disturbed the community.
She said the crime was ‘abhorrent’ and ‘inspired disgust and loathing.’
‘I need to pass a sentence that sends a strong message that tells people that if they commit such crimes against children they will go to prison for a very long time,’ Justice Kelly shared with ABC.
The offender will not be eligible for parole until 2028.
The crime made national headlines and prompted a visit to Tennant Creek by then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – which led to a $78 million regional deal involving three levels of government to improve economic and social services in the small rural town.
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