'Senior of the year' jailed for child rape

Warren Barnsley

Gordon Lloyd Adams has been a model citizen in his Queensland community over the last 25 years.

An avid volunteer with the Salvation Army in Gympie and supporter of the local rural fire service, he was once the town's nominee for Australian senior citizen of the year.

But the 65-year-old's dark past caught up with him in Brisbane District Court on Friday when he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years' jail for six child sex offences committed in the late 1980s.

Adams pleaded guilty in May to the offences committed in Deception Bay, including the rape of a nine-year-old girl, after the victim came forward in 2016.

The court heard the victim's life had been irrevocably affected by the abuse and she had suffered major mental health issues and turned to substance abuse in later life.

"He took from me my childhood," she said in a victim's impact statement read out in court.

"(I) sense people will think I am dirty and worthless because of what happened to me."

A father of 11, Adams, who has a prior conviction of carnal knowledge of a child in NSW when he was in his 20s, suffers heart, liver and bowel problems.

He claimed to police he could not remember committing the offences due to a stroke in 2002.

In sentencing, Judge Paul Smith noted his contribution to the community and poor health, but said the offending was too serious not to impose a jail sentence

"It's clear this offending had a significant effect on her," Judge Smith said.

"She was vulnerable. There was a breach of trust here."

Adams will be eligible for parole in March 2020.