Torture dad has appeal dismissed

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 12:10 06/12/2012

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A West Auckland man jailed for participating in the horrific torture of his young daughter has had his appeal dismissed.

The man and his wife, who have permanent name suppression, were sentenced in Auckland District Court last year to jail terms for the abuse of their daughter.

The torture, described as "one of the most serious cases of child cruelty to come before the District Court", included punches and kicks with steel-capped boots, breaking her toes with a hammer, pulling off her toenails, holding her head under a very hot bath, dragging her around by her hair and writing insults on her skin in marker pen.

The mother, the lead offender, was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail.

The father was found to be criminally culpable because he "stood by and allowed the offending to occur when he was in a position to protect his daughter from prolonged suffering and took no steps to arrange medical care", the court said.

He was sentenced to three years, with a minimum non-parole period of two years.

He appealed the minimum term but the Court of Appeal, in a ruling released today, said the judge was right in imposing the term.

"(The sentencing judge) had a proper foundation for finding that imposition of a base term of imprisonment without a minimum term would be inappropriate to denounce (the father's) conduct and deter him and others from committing this type of offending."

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