The man responsible for the 2018 rape of a two-year-old girl in a Northern Territory outback town, prompting national outrage, has been jailed for 13 years.
The rape of the girl in February 2018 was a flashpoint for the troubled town of Tennant Creek and the safety of its children, where the population is mainly indigenous, including the victim and her attacker.
It led to Malcolm Turnbull making the first visit to the region by a prime minister since 1982.
Children’s Commissioner Colleen Gwynne was scathing in a 2018 report about NT child protection services, who had dealt with the family for years.
They should have known the girl was at “foreseeable risk of harm and that risk could have been managed or mitigated”, she wrote.
On February 15, 2018, some time between 10pm and midnight, Kingsley Corbett, then 25, entered the Tennant Creek house uninvited as the two-year-old girl, her brother and mother were asleep in the living room.
Graphic details were read out by Justice Judith Kelly in the NT Supreme Court in Alice Springs outlining how Corbett picked up the child without waking anyone and took her to the main bedroom.
After removing her nappy and raping her, he returned her to the living room and left.
A relative visited the house later that night and woke her mother when he saw the toddler was bleeding profusely.
She was flown to Alice Springs hospital and then Adelaide, and temporarily removed from her mother’s care.
She received a blood transfusion and stitches to treat numerous lacerations, cuts, abrasions, and bruising on the inner and outer parts of her genitals. Corbett also infected her with gonorrhoea.
The 27-year-old, who had never been charged with a sexual offence before but has a long criminal history, pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent.
“Crimes of this nature against children are abhorrent,” Justice Kelly said in court.
“They inspire disgust and loathing.
“Now, I don’t know how much planning was involved but the crime was not opportunistic; it is not as though you were living in that house and suddenly succumbed to temptation.”
Justice Kelly said she agreed with crown prosecutor Glen Dooley that Corbett was not remorseful.
He denied being responsible to police at first and gave a false alibi before his DNA linked him to the crime. He later blamed his difficult upbringing for his actions when speaking to a psychiatrist.
Corbett had been raised by an aunt and abandoned by his parents but he was not found to have any psychotic illness or cognitive impairment that would explain his actions, the court heard.
A victim impact statement from the girl’s father stated that while his family were strong, “I can’t express my sadness, I have no words,” and that it had also been hard on the mother.
Corbett was jailed for 13 years with a non-parole period of nine-and-a-half years.