A Sydney security guard who kidnapped and indecently assaulted a three-year-old girl has been jailed for at least two-and-a-half years.
Mohammad Hassan Al Bayati, 30, exposed his penis and touched the toddler's underwear after taking her to an unmonitored shopping centre stairwell. The assault took place over 11 minutes at DFO Homebush in December 2016.
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On Tuesday, Al Bayati was jailed for four-and-a-half years - with a minimum of two years and six months behind bars.
NSW District Court Judge John Pickering said in court the young girl had been "quite remarkable" to report the crimes following the assault, reports the Daily Mail.
Al Bayati took the child to the unmonitored fire exit stairwell in response to a report that the girl was unattended and distressed at the shopping centre's playground.
After the assault, the guard walked the child back to the playground, where her seven-year-old sister was crying because she couldn't find her sibling.
Al Bayati then proceeded to lecture the mother, who was also waiting at the playground for her daughter after finishing her Christmas shopping.
"The gall of the offender to lecture the mother about the dangers and risks of leaving her in the play area, when he ended up being the greatest risk," said Pickering on Tuesday.
The mother had left her two girls in the play area while she went to buy Christmas presents. Police only became involved later that day, when the child told her father Al Bayati showed her "his needle" and tried to "kiss my bum bum", reports the Daily Mail.
Judge Pickering has described the footage of Al Bayati and the girl walking down the fire exit as haunting and has praised the young girl's "courage" and "resilience" for describing the incident to her parents, the court and police.
The then three-year-olds' parents have suffered severe impacts to their mental health following the incident. The judge highlighted the mother's regret over leaving her daughters in the playground that day.
Al Bayati was found guilty of kidnapping with intent to obtain sexual gratification, act of indecency and indecent assault in May. In his first trial in June last year, a jury had been unable to reach a verdict, according to the outlet.
The child is now at primary school and has received counselling. Her mother says her recovery will likely take years.
He will be eligible for release in mid-2021.