It can be hard for a paedophile to gain the trust of potential victims, which is why Bryan Edward Roads recruited a child he knew to use as bait.
Roads, 56, whose identity has finally been revealed after his appeal was dismissed last week, used the young child to get himself close to his five victims, who were aged between five and 12.
With a kid in tow, Roads was instantly trustworthy to the parents of his victims. They frequently relied on him to help with the school run and welcomed him into their homes, where he abused their children, often while siblings or parents were in the next room.
It sounds like something out of an episode of Law and Order, but the process of “grooming” is something practiced by all child molesters and often extends beyond potential victims to victims’ families and even the paedophile’s own partner and relatives.
"We often speak about the process offenders go through in grooming children and young people and their families," Carol Ronken, criminologist and chief of research at child abuse advocacy group Bravehearts. "But the reality is that we know they also go through a similar process whereby the offender has hidden their true self from their partner and family members.
"They have built their life around portraying themselves as separate to the sexual offender they are."
Roads was convicted of 40 counts of sexual offences against the five girls, who he abused for seven months in 2012. It was described as one of the worst cases of child abuse Penrith District Court has ever seen.
He was sentenced to 23 years jail with a 17-year non-parole period, but appealed against the severity of his sentence. Last week, his sentence was upheld.