Warning: distressing content

A man who is staring down the barrel of years in jail for abusing dozens of children with his boyfriend told a court he did the heinous acts to impress his partner.

The former couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced Downing Centre District Court for sentencing submissions on Thursday.

One of them pleaded guilty to 65 offences which include sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 years, acts of indecency with a person under 16 years and using a child under 14 years to make child abuse material.

The other pleaded guilty to 13 charges, including aggravated sexual intercourse with a child younger than 14 and procure a child of the same age to produce child abuse material.

One man gave evidence about his offending all day at court on Thursday.

During examination, his lawyer asked how he came to be involved in the crimes.

He told the court he was introduced to the abuse through his partner who had an attraction to children and shared his fantasies with him.

“I felt I didn’t deserve him as a partner so I wanted to do anything to make him happy,” he said.

“My sexual gratification was being dominated by (him) and I enjoyed being told what to do … I don’t think I can explain it but … I feel I lost myself and fell into the pattern of offending and never changed the target that was children”.

Much of the abuse the couple engaged in is too graphic to detail.

It began with the pair doing role play involving kids in their bedroom, before choosing to abuse children in real life.

The man said when he tried to stop the abuse, his partner threatened to leave him or hurt himself.

“He would ask me to write pornographic stories about the children and if I said no he would become extremely aggressive,” he said.

But he accepted he had a choice about whether to engage in the acts and was not forced to do so by his partner.

Under cross-examination by the prosecutor, the man who claimed he was persuaded to engage in the abuse by his partner was asked why he told police the abuse started with a dream he had about children.

In response, he told the prosecutor he said that to protect his partner.

But the prosecutor hit back, saying: “I suggest what you’re doing with the evidence you’re giving about how the offending started is a lie. I’m suggesting what you’ve said in court today is different to what you told police about the dream and is a lie”.

The man said he disagreed.

Since being in custody for the child abuse, the man has been assaulted at least 20 times in prison, the court heard.

He said he’s opened up the lids of his meals to find them covered in semen.

The court was told the assaults and harassment at the hands of other inmates followed their discovery of the seriousness of his crimes.

The man said he felt deeply ashamed for what he did.

“There have been many times I’ve wished for a death sentence because I feel it’s what I deserve,” he said.

The sentencing submissions continue.

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