A serial rapist has been jailed for a maximum of 19 years and four months for sexually abusing three separate victims, but he could be released on parole in just 14-and-a-half years.
Scott Markham, 48, was sentenced at Penrith District Court on Friday, May 19, after he was found guilty of 16 charges related to sexual offending during a trial last year.
In 2021, he was formally charged with grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity, attempting to commit aggravated sexual assault, two counts of aggravated sexual assault in company, three counts of aggravated sexual touching and nine counts of sexually assaulting a victim with a cognitive impairment.
A graphic set of facts read out to the court detailed the abuse that Markham inflicted on his three victims, which included a teenager who had a cognitive impairment.
The court heard the offending took place from April 2020 to January 2021 in Villawood and other parts of western Sydney, not long after he was released on parole for offending of a similar nature.
One of the victims, a 16-year-old, was physically and sexually abused by Markham on a number of occasions.
The court heard that he sometimes used rope to tie her arms and legs together, put duct tape over her mouth and told her “police aren’t going to help you”.
Twice, Markham took the teen to his friend’s apartment, who was in his 70’s, and threatened to hurt her if she did not have a threesome with them.
The court told the court that another victim, a 25-year-old man at the time, who saw Markham as a “father figure”, was subjected to painful, unprotected and non-consensual sex with him.
The third victim, who was a child at the time, was groomed by Markham who repeatedly asked sexual questions, bought them gifts and exposed them to indecent material.
Markham also told the victim that he could influence the police because he was a private investigator.
In sentencing, Judge Huw Baker noted that Markham had a cognitive impairment which bordered on an intellectual disability and a disadvantaged upbringing but said these factors did not mitigate the seriousness of the offending.
He also said that Markham has shown no remorse, lacks insight and has poor prospects of rehabilitation.
Judge Baker told the court that Markham had committed “very serious” which took place “over a significant period of time” has had “profound and long lasting impacts on the victims and their lives”.
“He is a recidivist who has engaged in predatory behaviour for more than 20 years,” he said.
Markham was sentenced to an aggregate term of 19 years and four months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 14 years and six months.
He will be eligible for release in July 2035. His maximum term expires in May 2040.
Formerly with the ABC, Makayla is a graduate of Western Sydney University. She covers a variety of news topics for the Weekender, including courts.