The father of a baby boy at the centre of an international surrogacy scandal “robbed” two young girls of their childhood when he sexually assaulted them in the 1980s, a West Australian judge said when he sentenced him in 1997.
David Farnell was convicted of 15 charges of indecently dealing with two girls and was jailed for three years.
Mr and Mrs Farnell, who live in Bunbury, WA, with their twin baby daughter, have denied abandoning their critically ill son, Gammy, with his surrogate mother in Thailand.
Mr Farnell was 39 when he first appeared in court to face the assault charges, which related to events in 1982 and 1983. He was aged 25 and 26 at the time, court papers obtained by Fairfax Media show.
He was also convicted of three charges of procuring a girl under the age of 13 to indecently deal with him.
The documents detail how Mr Farnell held “secretive meetings” with the girls in a garden shed or at home.
He was accused of touching them inappropriately and making them carry out sexual acts.
“They are prone to depression, they have difficulties in forming relationships and they suffer from sexual problems,” Judge O’Sullivan said.
“None of that is surprising because you by your conduct robbed these girls of their childhood and for that reason it’s fair to say that the law takes a strict view of offences of this kind.”
Mr Farnell was jailed for three years. While serving his sentence he was later charged and convicted of further child sex offences.
At a second sentencing in 1998 by a different judge, Judge Gunning, Mr Farnell was told he showed “no remorse”.
He was convicted of four counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 13 while he was at his parents’ house and sentenced to a further 18 months in jail.
The story Gammy father David Farnell 'robbed' two girls of their childhood, judge says first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.