A business owner jailed for groping a child has a history of preying on kids and would regularly drive them to work while drunk, a court has heard.

Daniel Nean, also known as Daniel James Kilby, appealed his sentence in the NSW District Court on Friday for intentionally sexually touching a 15-year-old girl and procuring her for unlawful sexual activity.

The 37-year-old dad, from Newcastle, pleaded guilty to the charges, which included sexually touching a 20-year-old woman without consent, and was sentenced to five years in prison with a non-parole period of three years in June.

During appeal proceedings on Friday, the crown prosecutor asked Nean about separate convictions on his criminal history, which included an aggravated sexual assault and inciting an indecent act on a person younger than 16.

For that offending, Nean was sentenced to six years in jail with a non-parole period of four years. He was released on July 24, 2019.

Despite his disturbing past, Nean’s profile grew in the Newcastle area.

He owned or managed two takeaway shops, a gaming store and trucking company.

Having been placed on theo NSW Child Protection Register, Nean continued to illegally work with underage staff without the knowledge of police, breaching his prohibition order and reporting obligations.

Then, in 2021, the second lot of child sex offending occurred.

The court was told Nean asked a 15-year-old girl for her Snapchat as he drove her to work on several occasions, and made sexual comments.

Ignoring the uncomfortable girl’s attempts to stop the conversation, Nean touched her leg, moving his arm up her thigh. He offered to pay her $500 if she sent him naked photographs.

He went on to send her hundreds of messages, including many sexually inappropriate ones, and offered to pay her to go on a date with him.

Nean’s criminal history was examined in court as his legal team tried to argue his sentence was manifestly excessive and did not consider special circumstances.

The crown prosecutor argued this was not the case, citing the previous sexual offending and several counts of failing his reporting obligations.

It also emerged in court that Nean was put on a good behaviour bond in 2011 for four counts of receiving financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity after he defrauded Centrelink.

Giving evidence during his appeal hearing, Nean said his mind was not where it was meant to be at the time of the most recent sexual offending.

“I was doing stupid sh*t with drugs and alcohol,” he said.

“There was a lot going on and I just wasn’t thinking”.

Nean, an Indigenous man, described a traumatic childhood where he endured sexual abuse, domestic violence and addiction from a young age.

“I think it affected my moral culpability,” he said.

He told the court he was regularly drunk and taking cocaine at all hours of the day at the time of offending, including while working 19-hour days.

Asked by the prosecutor if he realised it was wrong to drive children to work regularly while under the influence of alcohol, he said he’d “done it for so long with no issues” that he didn’t think about it.

He told the court he was intoxicated every time he sent a sexualised message to the teenage girl.

When asked by the crown prosecutor if intoxication was to blame for sending the teenager a Snapchat message that read: “If you sucked my d*ck your mum wouldn’t know,” he said: “I don’t remember that, but I guess so”.

“I have done things I regret, (including) hurting other people, and to be honest, it’s sh*t,” he told the court.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.”

The prosecutor submitted Nean exaggerated his difficult childhood as well as drug and alcohol abuse in an attempt to have his sentence downgraded, given he did not report those issues to psychologists before starting the appeal process.

But his defence lawyer said he had tried to “deny … cover up, bury” his past, and when he went into custody he realised “he’s got to do something about the problems he’s got”.

“He’s quite a complex guy, Your Honour,” the lawyer said.

Judge Peter McGrath reserved his appeal judgment for a later date.


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By Rahul

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