A stepmother who helped her husband violently rape his young children has described that period as ‘the best time in her life’, a court has heard.
The woman, who cannot be named, took part as her husband sexually abused his two children, locked them in cages, tied them to trees and slammed their fingers in doors at their remote property north of Port Augusta, in South Australia.
In sentencing submissions in the SA District Court on Friday the woman’s lawyer made reference to the woman’s comments that the offending period ‘was the best time in her life’.
But the lawyer says the comment was made sarcastically to a psychologist as a way of dealing with the difficult subject.
‘That was said or meant in a sarcastic manner,’ 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.’
She was found guilty of false imprisonment while her husband was found guilty of multiple rape and assault offences over the horrific abuse.
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.