A 32-year-old Manjimup man has held back tears in disbelief after being found guilty of inappropriately touching his niece. The man, who cannot be named, was found guilty of three counts of indecently dealing with a child aged between 13 and 16 following a four-day trial in the Bunbury District Court from June 28-July 1. The court was told the man was spending the night at the girl’s family home after taking her mother to hospital and picking her older brother up from football grand final celebrations in September 2019. While the girl was using her tablet in her bed, the man invited her to come to bed with him in her mother’s bedroom, where they got under the covers and the man started touching her inappropriately. In evidence, the girl said she pretended to be woken upduring the touching when he apologised, but continued to touch her when the girl settled down. The girl also told the court she and the man had a very close, loving relationship and she saw him like a father figure. Despite admitting he had had a considerable amount of alcohol on the night of the incident, the girl’s brother told the court he saw his sister and her uncle move from her bedroom to another location within the home and later saw “a big figure” in his mother’s bedroom when he later got up to get snacks from the kitchen. When the man took the witness stand, he denied touching the girl and maintained he just wanted to talk to her to see how she was going, claiming he was tired when asked why he would chat with her in bed. In closing, state prosecutor Nathan Fawkes said by inviting the girl into the same bed, the man was “creating an opportunity for himself” to offend. “Why would you climb into bed when all you wanted to do was have a chat with her to see how she was going?” he asked. The man was acquitted of a further two counts of indecently dealing with a child in an alleged incident with the same complainant several months earlier. It was alleged the girl was sleeping in bed with the man after his wife had let her move to the bedroom because the girl had had nightmares from watching a horror movie. Although the girl alleged the man touched her inappropriately twice during the night, the man told the court he did not realise the girl was in bed with him as he was fast asleep and wearing his sleep apnoea mask. The man’s wife told the court she had checked on the pair several times and found they were fast asleep and did not change positions. The man was granted bail and is due to be sentenced in September.