Adoptive father jailed for incest

Last updated 11:21 11/07/2014

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An adoptive father who had sex with his intellectually impaired daughter, resulting in her getting pregnant, has gone to jail for three years and three months.

The woman who was barely allowed to leave the house and made to cook and clean for the family, gave birth in the family garage alone.  She had not known she was pregnant.

The 60-year-old man has pleaded guilty to three charges of incest of an adoptive daughter.

The baby was found dead in a neighbour's garden within hours of its birth.  Neither he nor his adopted daughter can be identified.

The woman came to New Zealand in 2007 from Samoa as a 15-year-old when she was adopted by the man and his wife. 

Every few days between September 2010 and June 2012 he would have sex with her.

In the High Court at Wellington Justice Stephen Kos said the girl had an IQ of 72, just barely above the legal limit for intellectual disability.

He said the girl was only allowed to go to class at a polytechnic and church, was not allowed a phone or computer, or access to her own bank account.  She was given $7 a week for bus fare.

She had to cook and clean for the family and the man's wife would assault her if she failed to do it properly.

The victim had to resort to secretly buying a sim card to use in a sister's phone.

Justice Kos said the man's lawyer said he acknowledged his wife had treated her appallingly, denigrating her verbally and physically abusing her. 

The man worked a evening shift and was often home alone with the victim in the morning.

The judge stopped short of outlining the offending, saying he would not add to  the woman's indignity other than to say he had regular sex with her.  She was a coerced and confused young woman who had no options in her life.

The judge said the man saw himself as having an affair with an adult daughter, had fallen in love and said that his physcial love was reciprocated.

"I don't accept that for one minute."

He said the man failed to protect her from his family and from himself.

"When she got into real trouble you were nowhere to be found," Justice Kos.

Justice Kos said the victim impact statement spoke of fear and intimidation, pain and an awful numbing sense of isolation.

The man now said he tried to protect her by hiding that he was the father, but the judge said he was at a loss to say how that protected her.

"It certainly protected you," he commented.

The woman had been charged with first murder then infanticide but the charge was stayed by a High Court judge after the acting deputy solicitor-general did not believe it was in the public interest to continue the case.

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The man told police he was like biblical figure Abraham, who fathered a child late in life, and also claimed he was under the influence of the devil.

Justice Kos said he seemed to have little insight, empathy or remorse for what he had done to his daughter.

He said the victim was particularly vulnerable to abuse, being intellectually impaired.  

His lawyer Steve Gill had asked the judge to consider home detention.

- The Dominion Post

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