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North Sydney man given federal prison term Wednesday on sex offences


SYDNEY — A 47-year-old North Sydney man who for six years sexually terrorized a young girl resulting in the birth of a child when the victim was only 15 was sentenced Wednesday to a federal prison term.

“If I was able to give you the sentence you deserve, you would be a very old man when you got out of jail,” said Supreme Court Justice Frank Edwards, who accepted a joint Crown/defence sentencing recommendation of 4.5 years.

Thomas Tarzan MacKinnon of Peppett Street pleaded guilty in January to two counts of invitation to sexual touching and a single count of sexual assault.

The offences occurred between 2004 and 2011 in North Sydney. The offences began when the girl was only 11 years old and MacKinnon was 35. It continued until she was 17 and MacKinnon was 41.

“There were so many incidents that she couldn’t remember,” said prosecutor Gerald MacDonald, at the time MacKinnon pleaded guilty.

He said the victim told police there were times she attempted to fight off MacKinnon’s advances but to no avail.

The victim said she would try and blackout what was happening and wait until he finished.

In addition to sexual intercourse, the victim was also forced to perform oral sex and was the target of sexual touching numerous times.

She told police MacKinnon said if she told anyone what was happening he would say she was a willing participant and that no one would believe her.

“You didn’t care anything about the victim. It was all about your self-gratification,” said Edwards.

In addition to the jail sentence, MacKinnon is banned for life from attending places where children under the age of 16 are likely to gather and he is prohibited from volunteering with any group that deals with those under 16.

MacKinnon will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life and he’s also banned for life from possessing any restricted or prohibited weapons.

He must also supply a DNA sample to the national registry.

MacKinnon was initially charged with 11 sex-related offences and was scheduled to stand trial in Supreme Court.

MacDonald said MacKinnon essentially treated the child as his girlfriend.

“I knew better. I should have made better decisions,” said MacKinnon, in a pre-sentence report.

“It is hard to rationalize how you would think that an 11-year-old child was your girlfriend,” said Edwards.

Prior to sentencing, MacKinnon did offer an apology to the victim.

As for the victim, whose name is banned from publication, she said she’s in counselling to deal with anger issues but has managed to pull together a life for herself with her husband and children, including the child fathered by MacKinnon.


“You were the innocent victim and there is only one culprit here and he’s going to jail,” said Edwards, in addressing the victim in court Wednesday.

He said the woman has displayed considerable strength and determination in putting her life back together.

After the court closed Wednesday, Edwards wished the victim luck in her future endeavours to which she responded, “thank you.” 

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