A paraplegic singer, who repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl, has been jailed for at least two years after he turned himself in to police.
Too afraid her parents would blame themselves, the victim waited until the day after her mother died to warn Lawrence David Muggleton she was going to tell people what he had done to her.
The now 70-year-old handed himself in, in October 2019, and confessed to a string of sexual assaults at the victim's home, at a motel in Ballina and on a trip to Tamworth.
Muggleton pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual intercourse with a child above the age of 10 and under 16, and two counts of aggravated indecent assault that date back to the 1990s.
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NSW District Court Judge Gordon Lerve sentenced him to three years and nine months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years.
"The offending occurred while the offender was in an entirely inappropriate relationship with the victim, who was 14 years of age at the time," he said.
"While the specific offences for which the offender appears for sentence occurred while the victim was 14, the sexual relationship between the victim and the offender continued until the victim was 17."
Muggleton had to have both of his legs amputated after a motor vehicle accident in 1968.
On one occasion he asked the victim to use his wheelchair with brakes on against the door so they wouldn't be disturbed, before he sexually assaulted her.
The offences took place between 1992 and 1993, after Muggleton, then in his 40s, met the then 10-year-old victim's parents at a country RSL where he was performing a show.
A strong friendship developed between the victim's family and Muggleton, who moved to Tamworth but would continue to stay with them on his travels to the area.
It was on a trip away that Muggleton first assaulted the girl, and after that he would continue to kiss her whenever the opportunity arose.
He would always remind the victim not to tell anyone, and in her victim impact statement she told the court, "what happened to me wasn't okay".
Muggleton confessed to up to 20 acts, some the victim doesn't remember as there were "so many that have blurred into each other".
"The victim recalls asking the offender whether they would ever be together, to which he replied, 'maybe at a later time, but at this time you are too young'", Judge Lerve said.
Muggleton was sentenced this month at the NSW District Court. He was living at an aged care facility in Canberra at the time of the court proceedings.
If the judge did not find special circumstances to give Muggleton a discounted sentence based on his assistance to police and pleas of guilty, his total aggregate sentence would have been six years and six months.
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