Brian Houston. Deprived the hundreds of boy and young teen victim of justice.

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Victim Debbie McDonald said she was "over the moon" in response to the sentencing.

Victim Debbie McDonald said she was “over the moon” in response to the sentencing.

 

“Ms McDonald said she felt so traumatised by the assaults that she was unable to make a complaint to police until 2015.

“My life has been grief and sorrow and heartache and feeling dirty and horrible because of what he did to me as a child,” she said.

“I’ve had to hide it because I was worried about how it would affect my family.”

 

Debbie McDonald is  from the Lismore area. She gave her permission to media to publish her story.

The man who sexually abused her was her step-father William Leslie Smith.

The abuse affected her whole life.

 

ABC News Australia

Childhood sexual assault victim welcomes prison term for her now 80-year-old stepfather

ABC North Coast By Bruce MacKenzie and Samantha Turnbull

17 February 2017

A woman who was sexually assaulted by her stepfather 47 years ago has welcomed a sentence putting the now 80-year-old in prison for at least 10 months.

Debbie McDonald was 13 when her stepfather sexually assaulted her between 1969 and 1971.

Winton Leslie Smith, now 80, pleaded guilty in the Lismore District Court to four charges of indecent assault and attempted carnal knowledge.

Judge Clive Jeffreys today sentenced Smith to two years and four months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 months.

“I am not sentencing in 1970, I am sentencing in 2017, and I am sentencing someone who is 80 years of age,” Judge Jeffreys said.

“I need to take into account the offender’s age and the health problems he is suffering [chronic kidney disease and lymphatic leukemia].”

Judge Jeffreys also said he believed Smith had been rehabilitated since the assaults.

Ms McDonald, who gave permission for her identity to be published in the media, said she was happy with the sentence.

“I’m overwhelmed and over the moon that finally I’ve been believed and people have fought for me,” she said.

“For him to go to jail has unburdened my heart, my soul, my everything.

“Him going to jail has restored my faith in the judicial system.”

Life of trauma

Ms McDonald said she felt so traumatised by the assaults that she was unable to make a complaint to police until 2015.

“My life has been grief and sorrow and heartache and feeling dirty and horrible because of what he did to me as a child,” she said.

“I’ve had to hide it because I was worried about how it would affect my family.”

After police interviewed Ms McDonald they obtained permission to fit her with listening devices to gather evidence against Smith.

Smith was recorded making admissions about the crimes.

“Detectives asked me if I would be prepared, and it took me a couple of weeks to get the courage up, because my evidence was lost and it was my word against his,” Ms McDonald said.

“The hardest thing I’ve ever done was go up to him and start talking to him about it.

“The second hardest was doing my impact statement in the courthouse.

“It’s hard physically, emotionally, mentally, everything. But I feel so much lighter and glad.”
Judge Jeffreys acknowledged the trauma suffered by Ms McDonald.

“The complainant has been significantly affect by this sexual abuse,” he said.

“She has suffered anxiety and depression and has considered suicide.”

Ms McDonald said she hoped her story would inspire other victims to come forward.

“In the end it’s worth it because there are people out there fighting for people like me, who have been abused and lost their family,” she said.

“People need to stand up for their rights because people are not allowed to do that to you.”