'Pathetic' child abuser jailed in Tasmania

·2-min read

A predatory and evil pedophile who abused boys and girls in Tasmania for 25 years has been chastised by a judge as a pathetic example of a man.

Phillip James Scott, 69, was on Tuesday sentenced to up to 12 years' jail after pleading guilty to two counts of persistent sexual abuse of a child, two counts of indecent assault and one of rape.

Scott was often entrusted to babysit the children, whose ages ranged from five to 12, when the abuse occurred from 1972-97.

He regularly sexually abused one girl over a three-year period at his house and hers, while in his car and once on a picnic blanket at a park.

Scott told the children no one would believe them if they came forward and the abuse was their fault.

In sentencing, Justice Gregory Geason told the Supreme Court of Tasmania Scott's crimes were "predatory, selfish and evil".

"You are a pathetic example of a man," he said, adding Scott had a "callous pattern of behaviour".

Scott initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea in June after trial preparations had begun.

When the allegations were put to Scott by police in 2016, he denied them, telling investigators they were "made up" and some of the complainants owed him money.

He was investigated and interviewed by police in 1997 and 2002 after some of the complainants came forward but no charges were laid.

He told police in 2002 that there was "no reason" why the complainant would have seen him naked.

Justice Geason described the police investigation as "apparently inadequate".

Scott, who has suffered a major stroke and sat in the court dock in a wheelchair using a listening aide, was given a non-parole period of eight years and will be on the sex offenders' register for life.

Justice Geason noted Scott would have difficulties in prison due to his health.

Survivors previously told the court about the impact of Scott's abuse, including one woman who was molested on her birthday.

"Every birthday I went through was a reminder of what he did to me. I have never felt very good about being me," she described in a statement read by a lawyer.

Another woman said she had learning difficulties as a child and trouble concentrating in school after being abused.

"I just thought I wasn't very clever."

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