WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
A Hawke’s Bay man has been jailed for the decade-long physical and sexual abuse of his intellectually impaired daughter who he also impregnated.
The man, who has automatic name suppression to protect the identity of his daughter, will spend the next five years and five months behind bars after admitting a representative charge of incest and six charges of assaulting a female, one of which was also representative.
Other charges, including rape and injuring with intent to injure, were withdrawn by the Crown during sentencing in the Hamilton District Court today.
The court heard the abuse began when the victim began living with her father, his wife and their daughter in 2005.
She had previously never had anything to do with her father who is now aged 56.
Once in his care, the man became controlling and when she disagreed with what he said he would assault her.
A sexual relationship began soon afterwards, a relationship which the victim did not want.
After two years and fed up, she packed her bags. Angry, the man slapped her and placed his hands around her neck.
She left the home and moved to the South Island.
After a while, the man got back in touch with the victim and said he had left his wife and was not so angry anymore.
She agreed to move back in with him and the pair set up in Wellington. In December 2008 she received treatment for her first abortion.
They both then moved to Hamilton and the abuse continued, which also included controlling her social media accounts and ensuring she remained distant from her friends.
During 2015 and the beginning of 2016, there were a series of violent sexual encounters where the man would beat her up and then have sex with her.
In March 2016 she was again treated for an abortion and it was there that the victim spoke to a counsellor about the ongoing abuse.
The victim agreed to go to police and an investigation commenced.
Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster said the victim, while an adult, was a particularly vulnerable person given her intellectual impairment and controlling influence that her father had over her.
“There was nothing of a loving or supportive or caring nature about this relationship.
“This relationship was categorised by the power and control over his intellectually impaired daughter and dominated her life for a lengthy period … I have been unable, in researching, to identify cases where there is the level of physical violence that there is present in this case within an incestuous relationship.”
In her victim impact statement, the woman described how she had since “lost her sense of herself” and her independent identity.
The man’s lawyer Tom Sutcliffe said while it was a bad case it “wasn’t the worst of its type”.
He asked Judge Glen Marshall to take into account his client’s age and health when deciding on a jail term.
He had no previous convictions for which he should receive credit as well as pleading guilty which saved the victim from a “traumatic trial”.
Judge Marshall described the offending as “sustained abuse” over a 10-year period that involved a significant breach of trust.
“A child of a parent is entitled to, even in later years, the protection, love and support of a parent – not physical and sexual abuse.”
He said the offending was also violent and premeditated – it wasn’t just an isolated error of judgment – and had a profound impact on the victim.
In handing down the prison term, he declined to issue a minimum non-parole period as requested by the crown.
Source : New Zealand Herald