'Dictator dad' accused of abusing daughters

Last updated 06:37 04/06/2014

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A father who ruled his family "like a dictator" allegedly sexually abused his daughters and left his brain-damaged son locked in a car for hours while he was soiled and hungry.

A jury in Wellington District Court has began hearing the trial of a 66-year-old Lower Hutt man who has pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of sexual violation by rape, indecent assault, injuring, assault and ill-treating a child.

The man's name and his ethnicity are suppressed to prevent identification of his family.

Crown prosecutor Geraldine Kelly said the man ruled his household with dominance, fear, intimidation and violence, like a dictator. She said the man met his wife overseas and they moved to live in Lower Hutt. Their first two children were daughters, and his wife did not want further children. However, the man wanted a son. They had another daughter before their son was born.

The boy suffered from a congenital heart condition and needed surgery. He then had seizures and was left brain-damaged and needing 24-hour care.

In 1993, the company the man worked for closed and he stayed home full-time, Kelly said. He would not allow his wife money or to get driving lessons, and he would take her and the children everywhere.

The couple had a further daughter and the wife began to refuse to have sex. Kelly said the man then began to rape her. He was also touching two of his daughters.

He would pick up his son from care and take him to a house he was working on, leaving the boy locked in the car for hours, distressed, soiled and hungry, Kelly said.

Defence lawyer Paul Paino said what the jury had heard was a biased and one-sided account of what happened. There had been a bitter separation with a large amount of money involved, and the daughters had taken their mother's side in the dispute.

Paino said the claims of offending against the son were exaggerated, and false accounts had been told.

The trial is expected to last into next week.

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- The Dominion Post

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