A South Australian stepmother who was complicit in her husband's violent sexual abuse of his young children has described that period as "the best time in her life", a court has heard.
But the woman's lawyer says the comment was made sarcastically to a psychologist as a way of dealing with the difficult subject.
The woman took part as her husband sexually abused his two children, locked them in cages, tied them to trees and slammed their fingers in doors over several years at their remote property north of Port Augusta.
She was found guilty of false imprisonment while her husband was found guilty of multiple rape and assault offences over the horrific abuse.
Disturbing similarities with the recent case of a pair of elite athletes and their unbelievably horrid treatment of their children
In sentencing submissions in the District Court on Friday the woman's lawyer made reference to the woman's comments in a report to the court when she said the period when the offending occurred "was the best time in her life".
"That was said or meant in a sarcastic manner," Sally Burgess said.
"It's obviously not the most appropriate way to address such questions but (she) seems to deal with stress and difficulties in perhaps an unusual way by making a joke or trying to laugh things off."
However, Judge Sophie David said the comments showed a lack of remorse.
"There has been no acceptance of her conduct, and in my view there is very little scope for leniency," Judge David said.
"I can't have any confidence in any prospects of rehabilitation or suggestion of remorse, particularly in light of what she has said. Sarcastic or not."
The court previously heard the children, a boy and a girl, had suffered devastating and lasting consequences as a result of their treatment.
Prosecutor Amelia Cairney said the stepmother needed to be jailed for the safety of the community.
The pair, who cannot be named, will be sentenced on December 6.
Thursday where he was sentenced after being found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl.
Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP
Australian Associated Press
A Queensland criminologist has been jailed for brazen and persistent sexual abuse of a young girl in the 1970s.
Paul Wilson, 75, first assaulted the victim when she was eight at his Brisbane home in Indooroopilly and only stopped when she moved away from the area. Some of the abuse was carried out while other children and an adult were in the house.
Judge Julie Dick sentenced Wilson to 18 months imprisonment suspended after six months. Dick said the offending was persistent, brazen and involved the corruption of a child “of tender years”.
“This was a child, somebody else’s child in the neighbourhood who was visiting,” she said. “You, being an older man, had some authority and power over her. She has suffered this over a long number of years and the trial itself was traumatic for her.”
Then why, in God's Name, didn't you give him a decent sentence. 6 months, then suspension is a joke, a very bad joke.
She accepted the defendant had led an “admirable life” but added: “No one knows what happens behind closed doors.”
Wilson was convicted after a retrial at Brisbane supreme court of four counts of indecent treatment of a child between 1973 and 1976.
Prosecutor Phil McCarthy described him as brazen and manipulative, and said he had used his position of standing in the community to corrupt the young girl. The abuse continues to have a significant effect on the victim, who was “very young and sexually naive” at the time, he said.
Defence barrister Peter Davis, QC, said Wilson, awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to education, had lived a “full, successful, busy and conventional life” as a university professor. He has suffered a “very public fall from grace”, he added.
Grace he never deserved as a pedophile. His fall from it should have no bearing on his sentence. 18 months, suspended after 6 is a ridiculous sentence considering he forced her through a trial, twice and she continues to be affected by it - 40 years later. He gets to spend a couple months in jail then he can retire and put it behind him. The punishment for the criminal is a tiny portion of the suffering of the victim. That is not justice in my economy.