A Portland district man found guilty of molesting his partner's young daughter is recovering after trying to poison himself in court.
The man, who cannot be named as that would identify the victim, was found guilty of four charges on Friday after a Warrnambool County Court trial.
As the guilty verdicts were read out, the man produced a Snickers bar from his pocket which he then started to eat.
When instructed by custody staff that he could not eat in court, the man continued to finish off the Snickers bar.
He then told the custody staff he had poisoned himself as he had laced the chocolate bar with rat poison.
The man was remanded in custody after the verdicts and taken to the Warrnambool police station cells.
It's understood he soon after collapsed in the cells and broke a finger.
He was transported to Warrnambool Base Hospital where he was treated for poisoning.
He spent time recovering in the hospital intensive care unit.
It's understood the amount of rat poison in the chocolate bar was not enough to be lethal.
A mention hearing in the County Court on Wednesday morning was told the man had received treatment, his condition had improved and he was now on medication.
He is back in the Warrnambool police station cells.
The man has been remanded in custody until September 11 for a plea hearing which will likely be followed by a sentencing hearing.
On Friday the Portland district man in his mid 70s was found guilty of four serious sex offences involving his partner's daughter.
He had pleaded not guilty to 11 charges in a Warrnambool County Court trial that started on June 1, but was found guilty of two counts of sexual penetration of a child aged under 16 years and two counts of committing an indecent act with a child aged under 16 years.
He was found not guilty of seven charges - six of sexual penetration with a child aged under 16 years and one count of committing an indecent act with a child aged under 16 years.
In opening address, prosecutor Fiona Martin said eight of the charges were courses of conduct, meaning the offending was allegedly committed more than once, sometimes almost daily during certain periods.
It's alleged the offending took place between 1991 and 2000 while the girl was aged between four and 14 years old.
A change in family circumstances led to a neighbour becoming the partner of the girl's mother.
The mother then had health issues and when she had to seek treatment the offending is alleged to have ramped up.
It's alleged the girl told her mother what was going on but no action was taken.
The man is alleged to have at times entered the girl's bedroom to "warm up her bed" and then molested her.
The court heard Ms Martin claim the girl at times "played dead" until the offending stopped.
The prosecutor said the man told the complainant that if she told her mother what was going on her mother would have to go away and he gave her gifts to stay quiet.
In 2000 reports were made to child protection.
The girl was later returned to her mother's care and not long after the alleged abuse resumed.
Asked by the girl why he abused her, the man is alleged to have said: "I fell in love with you" and "you are special to me".
The complainant claims that at another time she told her mother what was going on and her mother made her ring the man to have a discussion.
In 2018 the woman told her then partner which led to a report to police.
The man was arrested in August 2018 and denied all the highly detailed allegations.
- Support is available for those who may be distressed. Phone Lifeline 13 11 14; MensLine 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636; 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732.
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