A district court in Western Australia on Wednesday (4 October) sentenced a 54-year-old man to 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting two children from a North Perth child care facility.
In January, Vincenzo Mule pleaded guilty to the crime committed in April 2016, but later claimed in court that he had no memory of the incident.
According to court documents, Mule lured a girl and a boy — aged four and five respectively — from the child care facility promising them treats and fun activities and took them to a granny flat at the back of his parents' home in North Perth. CCTV cameras in the area confirm he took the children away.
He reportedly gave the kids icy poles before abusing them in front of each other and later abandoned them in nearby Hyde Park. The children sought help from a woman, who was having lunch at the park.
Terming the act "brazen, deliberate and persistent", District Court Judge Simon Stone rubbished Mule's claims of memory loss and stated that the accused was "feigning amnesia to avoid the consequences of his actions".
The judge also noted that Mule had deliberately visited the child care facility with the intention of fulfilling his sexual gratification. Mule had pleaded guilty to two charges of deprivation of liberty and three child sex charges.
Stone said that although the long term psychological effects of the abuse on the children were yet unknown, their parents have said in their victim statements that the children were having nightmares and trust issues. He called it a "frightening ordeal" for the children as well as their parents and the members of the child care facility.
"Not a day goes by where we don't worry about the effects," a parent of one of the victims wrote in their victim statements, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
"Your conduct was abhorrent and reprehensible," Judge Stone said and noted that the lengthy sentence would be imposed as a deterrent to other such offenders.
Addressing Mule, the judge also said that there was "a need to protect children in the community from people with evil desires such as yours".