The girl later told police she was unable to count the number of times the behaviour had occurred.
John continued to abuse the girl before and after giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses Child Sexual Abuse when he was called to give information about another teacher suspected of being a paedophile.
Justice Gerard Mullaly described John’s crimes as “deplorable” and “heinous”, ordering he serve 11 months behind bars effective immediately.
He said the offending had deeply traumatised the young girl and torn apart her family.
Justice Mullaly noted the case was unusual because most elderly sex abuse offenders were facing charges over crimes committed “decades before”.
That John’s abuse continued after his appearance at the sex abuse royal commission was “most concerning”.
“Sexual abuse of young children is heinous offending striking at the heart of what is considered a decent society,” he said.
“Those who enter the dark realm of sexual abuse of children attack important social values.
“You committed grave crimes and there must be consequences.”
Crown prosecutor Jessica Fallar told the court John disguised his predatory behaviour as a secret game, which had a “devastating impact” on the victim.
“The video speaks for itself. It shows a very real manifesting of [John’s] growing sexual desire,” Ms Fallar said.
In her victim impact statement, the child’s mother revealed the life-changing toll the abuse had taken on her family.
In April 2018 she was admitted to her local hospital’s emergency department after suffering panic attacks, but told the court: “there was nothing they could do because it was my heart breaking”.
John had previously enjoyed an illustrious music career spanning decades and subsequently was awarded an OAM for his services to the community.
Justice Mullaly questioned whether John was “devoid of insight” into the harm he’d caused and ordered he be placed on the sex offenders register.
John was also sentenced to a 24-month community corrections order to be completed on his release from jail.
Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.