Dad found guilty of incest gets community work
A man found guilty of incest has escaped a prison sentence, and instead been given 300 hours' community work.
The man was found guilty of incest by an Auckland District Court jury in July, but his co-accused, his daughter, was acquitted of the same charge.
The pair, who have name suppression, met after the woman tracked down her biological father in Britain. They met when the woman was in her late 20s and the man was in his mid 40s. The woman was married with four children.
They began a consensual sexual relationship which spanned 10 years, from 1997 to 2007.
During the trial, the jury had to be convinced there was a biological connection between them, and that he had sex with her knowing she was his daughter.
The man told her he doubted he was her father when they first met.
The woman split from her husband after returning to New Zealand, and the man moved into the house where she had lived with her husband and four children.
Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan said this was not a one-off mistake, it was an "ongoing improper relationship which continued for a significant period of time".
Counsel for the man, Louise Brown, said he felt great regret over the pain and suffering he had caused.
"He's been a rock for this family and they have been very reliant on him," Ms Brown said.
Sentencing the man, Judge David Wilson said this was an attraction between two adults who were not greatly different in age.
"This was a consensual relationship. The typical harms that rise from incestuous relationships were not present. You were not the father in the house raising the child.
"You first met her when she was in her late 20s and you attended her 30th birthday. The question of harm is very unusual in your case.
"Nobody asked to be heard during the trial as a victim. Most of the woman's children sat through the trial and some of them are here today.
"You are a man of otherwise good character with strong principles. There is a low risk of you re-offending which is a little surprising considering you still live with your daughter," Judge Wilson said.