Father admits incest with daughter

Last updated 11:08 04/06/2014

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A vulnerable young woman was mistreated and had a child as a result of an incestuous relationship with her adopted father, it has been revealed.

The pregnancy was not discovered until after the newborn baby's body was found in the garden of a neighbour's house in August 2012.

In the High Court at Wellington today the father, 60, pleaded guilty to three counts of incest.

He is on bail until next month when he will be sentenced.

The young woman was originally charged with murder, and later infanticide, but the charge against her was legally stopped in March by the acting solicitor-general.

A spokesman at that time said the death of a child was always a serious matter but in the highly unusual circumstances of the case it was considered that continuing with the charge against the mother was not in the public interest.

The father's trial was to begin next week but this morning he pleaded to the three charges covering sexual intercourse, digital and anal penetration.

A summary police prepared for the guilty pleas said the woman was adopted in 2007 as a 15-year-old by a female relative.  She came to New Zealand to live with her adopted family including the man who was to father her child. The family were regular church-goers.

The summary said there was a stark difference in the way she was treated compared to other young people in the family, and lived in an "oppressive" environment.

Her adopted mother beat her when she did not keep to strict rules imposed about cleaning the house and cooking for the family.

Friends saw her "consistently" with scratches and bruises on her face, hands and upper body.

Friends at a tertiary course she attended offered to let her move in with them but she declined out of fear of her adopted mother.

Her clothes were old, in stark contrast to her "sisters" and friends gave her some clothes but when they took them to her house she spoke to them through a mesh door, saying she was not allowed outside. The clothes were left outside for her.

When he and the woman were home alone he started fondling her and having other sexual contact. Over a 20-month period he would have sex with her every few days, sometimes telling her that they should have a baby together but she said no because she was not mature enough or able to look after a child.

But she became pregnant in December 2011. In about June 2012 her adopted mother suspected she was pregnant and she was taken to a medical centre but the pregnancy was not detected.

The woman did not tell anyone about the sexual conduct until police spoke to her after the baby's body was found.

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When police spoke to the father he initially denied it but then said she had consented and they had been playing a game when she would hide in her room, or in a cupboard. Sometimes she would lock the door as part of the games she would play. When he found her he would tickle her and they would have sex, he said.

The identity of the woman and her father are suppressed by law.

- The Dominion Post

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