WARNING: Disturbing content
A "sadistic" father who raped, tortured and imprisoned his young daughter for years has been sentenced in a Sydney court to at least 36 years in jail.
The girl's mother will serve 11 years.
The NSW father, who cannot be identified, started abusing his daughter when she was five years old and it continued until she was 19, Judge Sarah Huggett told Sydney's District Court during a sentence hearing on Thursday and Friday.
The 59-year-old was found guilty of 73 charges over years of sexual torture and abuse, often when the girl's wrists were lashed together with rope in a dilapidated shed on the family property.
The abuse, described by police as some of the most sickening they have seen, began when the girl was only five and ended when she was 18.
The couple were both highly regarded professionals but cannot be named because it would identify their daughter who had been a promising athlete.
The girl would spend up to three days tied up and restrained by barbed wire in the former chook shed and the sexual abuse meted out by her father has left her genital area "abnormal", the court was told.
He also forced her to bend double to fit into the box where he kept his diving gear in the garage and locked her in.
Her father told her: "I can do what I want to you. I own you. I'll make you suffer. I'll leave you tied up in the shed and let you rot."
The father was convicted earlier this year by a jury of 73 child sex offences and the mother of 13 counts including indecent assault after a 12-week trial.
After the girl went to police in 2012, detectives found the words she had scratched into the wood framework of the shed with a nail at the age of 11: "trapped" "Dad" and "mum is coming".
She had earlier tried to write them in her own blood.
They dug up some of the garden tools which she had buried in the soil to stop her father using them to sexually assault her.
As well as repeatedly raping his daughter, he hit her, held her head under water in a local creek until she thought she was going to die and filled her mouth with chillies which he forced her to eat, the court heard.
At the age of 14, the girl started to think the only way out was to kill herself.
"She felt trapped and as though she could not go anywhere or tell anyone what (her father) was doing to her," the court was told.
The next year, she confided in a trainer at an athletics meet that she was afraid of her father but when he found out she had complained, he choked her and tried to drown her.
She spent some months in a mental hospital and at the of 18, she finally told police of the abuse and they took out an apprehended violence order on her behalf against her father.
A week before the AVO application was to be heard in court, her parents found her and forced her into their car where her father threatened: "The shed."
The girl, then 18, escaped as the car was pulling away.
- Daily Telegraph Australia