A MAN who sexually abused two brothers in the early 1980s has received a suspended prison sentence.
The 57-year-old man appeared in the County Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault on a male person, two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 10, and two counts of sexual penetration of a person aged between 10 and 16.
The court heard the man was between the ages of 14 and 20 at the time of the offending, while his two victims were both below the age of 13.
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The victims' mother was friends with the man's family and the young boys would spend time playing at his home.
It was at that property in the late 1970s and early 1980s that the man abused the boys on several occasions.
The court heard he would drag them separately into the bathroom and lock the door before sexually assaulting them.
During the attacks, which would last for several minutes, the man told each of the boys they could not tell anyone because "no one (would) believe a liar".
Police were alerted to the crimes in February 2018 after the victims' mother disclosed the allegations to officers.
The court heard it came after the man was charged and sentenced to five years in jail for sexually abusing his son in the early 2000s.
A victim impact statement, which was read to the court, said the crimes had "tormented" one of the boys and left him suffering from anxiety and nightmares.
Defence counsel John Lavery told the court his client had been a teenager for a large portion of the offending and needed to be sentenced as such.
Mr Lavery noted the man's guilty plea had value, as it meant the victims did not need to come to court to give evidence.
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The defence counsel said the man had been eligible for parole in September last year, but could not apply because these charges were still before the court.
Judge John Smallwood said a jail term was the only appropriate sentence for the "serious" offending.
Judge Smallwood noted the man had only entered his guilty plea on the day the trial was due to start, which showed it was likely a "pragmatic" plea.
But the judge said the plea would nonetheless have been "very important" for the victims.
Judge Smallwood said he needed to take into account that the man had been a teenager with no prior convictions at the time of the offences.
The judge sentenced the man to a 24-month suspended sentence, with three of those months to be served immediately.
Judge Smallwood said that would mean the man could apply for parole later this year.
If the man reoffends in the next two years, he could be ordered to complete the remaining 21 months in jail.
The man will also be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
If the man did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for three years and six months, with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
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