Brenda Lin suffered heartbreak that few of us will ever come close to experiencing.
While she was on a trip to New Caledonia with her Sydney high school in July 2009, her parents, two little brothers and aunt were all murdered - by her uncle.
Seven and a half years later, Robert Xie has been found guilty of the murders and Lin’s identity can be revealed as she has given her consent to be identified after telling her story on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night.
Now in her 20s, Lin revealed to court that Xie had inappropriately touched her before the murders, with the assaults intensifying after she moved in with him and his wife, Kathy Lin, after her family was killed.
Ms Lin revealed to the court that these assaults happened regularly until Xie was arrested and charged with murder two years later.
Although he has not been charged for the assaults, the evidence formed the Crown’s case for motive, as he would have unlimited access to her with her family dead.
Lin told the court Xie entered her room at night and sexually assaulted her multiple times, with the abuse becoming more intense and invasive over time.
"He put his hand under my pyjama bottom and [my] underwear," she said.
"At first I wasn't sure if it was happening or not.
"It didn't seem real. It didn't seem in line with his character. The second night, I was sure."
Justice Elizabeth Fullerton referred to the evidence given by Lin, referred to as Ms AB, when she sentenced Xie to five life sentences earlier this week for the murders of Lin's father Norman Lin, her mother Lily Lin, her aunt Irene Lin, and her two little brothers Henry and Terry – in the bedroom of their North Epping home on July 18, 2009.
"The risk that this offender may commit offences of violence in the future, and the community's legitimate expectation that it is protected from that risk, is amplified by the sexual violence the offender inflicted on Ms AB after the murders, as the surviving member of her family."
In the victim impact statement Lin read to the court, she described what her life has been like for the last seven and a half years.
"In this time I have finished my HSC, was accepted into uni, got my first part-time job and learnt to drive. But I have achieved all these things without my family beside me.
"These inherently happy moments are now at most bittersweet, they have now become a painful reminder of the family I have lost and I will never see again."
Xie and his wife Kathy Lin maintain his innocence.
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