Kerri Moore

Darling Downs man guilty of molesting teen stepdaughter

A SUPREME Court jury has found a man guilty of molesting his 14-year-old stepdaughter but not guilty of giving her marijuana to smoke.

The man, 45, who is not named to protect the identity of his teenage victim, had pleaded not guilty to four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in his care and to one count of supplying a dangerous drug to a minor.

The court heard the man and the girl's mother had entered into a relationship when the girl was about one year old and he had brought her up as his own daughter along with other subsequent children of the relationship.

However, the couple separated in 2013 and the children had gone to live with their mother but returned to their father's then Stanthorpe home for access visits.

It was during an access visit in August 2014 that the girl claimed her stepfather had molested her as he lay naked in his bed and again later when she lay on the couch.

The teenager told police she had become "stoned" after smoking marijuana with him.

The accused man claimed no such incidents had occurred.

The jury took just over 90 minutes to come back with its verdict.

The guilty man's barrister Robbie Davies said his client had essentially no criminal history and certainly nothing of a like nature.

As a result of his conviction, he would be now placed on the Sexual Offenders Register, Mr Davies submitted.

The man was sentenced to nine months' jail, to be suspended after 18 weeks for two years.