Warning: Distressing content
A WEST Australian foster carer who sexually preyed on seven children, some of whom were already traumatised, has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in prison.
Desmond Gore, 73, was found guilty of abusing four girls and two boys aged between six and nine in his care from October 2007 to August 2011.
A fifth girl he abused in 2014 was not a foster child, the WA District Court heard on Friday.
The 20 offences included five counts of sexual penetration and 12 counts of indecent dealing with a child.
Judge Christopher Stevenson said the victims were extremely vulnerable and Gore’s crimes involved a degree of pre-planning, physical force and psychological threats.
During one rape, Gore put tape over a girl’s mouth so she could but scream.
He threatened to hurt another girl if she told police about being raped.
Gore called that same victim a “dirty slut” and said no one would believe her because she was “not worth it”.
She still complained but Gore was not charged at the time, the court heard.
In 2013, a box containing belongings from one of his victims revealed she had written that she felt sad about the abuse she suffered.
But it was not until 2017 that the girl was able to disclose the offending to investigators.
Judge Stevenson said Gore caused harm, damage and destruction to the victims.
He said Gore was entrusted by the state and the victims’ families, but instead acted on his sexual interest in young children.
“The age disparity is gross,” he said.
Judge Stevenson said Gore threatened some victims to silence them, taking full advantage of his absolute power over them.
“They should have been afforded love, care and nourishment so they could move forward from their disadvantaged background,” he said.
“Instead, you preyed upon them.”
Referring to the victim impact statements, Judge Stevenson said the children would require ongoing counselling, noting some were unable to trust adults and would not allow other foster carers to hug them.
Gore, whose wife was in court to support him, must spend at least 13 years and four months behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.