Aunt rapist gets sentence reduced
An Auckland man who, when he was 14 years old, raped his profoundly disabled aunt, making her pregnant, has had more than a year shaved off his sentence by the Court of Appeal.
He was originally jailed for six years nine months by a judge in Manukau District Court but will now serve five years seven months after the appeal court found the sentencing judge adopted a starting point that was too high.
In its ruling the appeal court said that in 2000, the offender - while still a child - was sent to live with extended family after his father was jailed.
He told the court how he was mistreated and physically abused by the family, as well as being forced to do more household chores than the other children, including caring for his bedridden aunt who could not communicate in any way.
On one occasion in 2003, the victim's sister noticed the door of the victim's bedroom was closed and opened it to find the naked teenager on top of his aunt.
The victim became pregnant and gave birth to a girl.
When police were made aware of the events, in 2011, the man - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to a representative count of sexual violation incorporating two separate rapes.
After the man voluntarily gave a DNA sample the police were able to confirm he was the father of the child.
Defence counsel argued in the Court of Appeal that the starting point given by Judge John Clapham was too high and did not place enough emphasis on the offender's age and circumstances at the time of offending.
However, the Crown submitted the breach of trust ''could scarcely have been more profound'' and any indications of remorse were ''less than compelling''.
The court ruled the original starting point of 13 years was too harsh and after giving discounts for age and early guilty plea, arrived at a jail term 14 months lighter.
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