12 years for family sex abuse

Last updated 05:00 05/09/2014

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A Waikato man who sexually abused two of his step-daughters - impregnating one - has been jailed for 12 years.

The 64-year-old, who cannot be named as it would identify the victims, admitted 11 sex-related charges on the fourth day of his trial in the Hamilton District Court in July.

At his sentencing yesterday, the court heard the offending started when the first victim was eight years old - in the 1980s - and continued until she was 20, while the second step-daughter was victimised for a shorter period of about six weeks when she was 13.

The older of the two sisters gave Judge Glen Marshall an emotional insight into how the man's offending had affected her.

She said she had kept herself fat since she was a teenager to try to avoid any attention to herself. Whenever she would try diets she would eventually sabotage them.

She said she found it hard wearing tight clothing around her neck as it would remind herself of being held down and choked and she still had frequent flashbacks about the sexual assaults.

However, the hardest thing had been how to tell her now-teenage daughter that she was the result of a rape and sexual abuse.

The trauma of what happened had also resulted in the break-up of her marriage.

Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster said any credit for the man's good character should be "somewhat mooted" as he had secretly been abusing his two step-daughters for a long period of time.

She asked limited credit be given for his guilty plea as it came after Crown and defence had delivered their case, and the victims had given evidence, at trial.

The man's counsel, Kit Clews, said his client was remorseful.

"This man is slowly coming to terms with what happened and the behaviour during the particular time and is very remorseful of that."

The man had proffered $7,500 emotional harm reparation which was accepted by the victims.

Judge Marshall said the evidence at trial against the man "was harrowing".

The first victim was vulnerable and there was a course of grooming that went on with the offending beginning in oral sex acts before "cynically" resulting in sex very soon after she turned 16. She gave birth to her baby when she was 17.

"You had control of the victim for an extended period of time, 11 years or so, and you reinforced your grooming of her with threats."

The man told the victim that if she didn't comply with the sex acts he wanted he would carry them out on her younger sister.

However, he later would do just that.

"The serious aggravating features of this offending is the predatory nature and pre-meditation. There were threats of violence and the use of force, vulnerability of the victims, harm caused to the first victim - including her pregnancy, the scale of offending and the very serious breach of trust.

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"The children who were part of your family unit in your care should have been able to look to you for support and love. What they received was anything but."

Judge Marshall gave the man credit for the payment of reparation, previous good character and guilty plea resulting in an end sentence of 12 years.

- Waikato Times

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