A man who for 14 years sexually groomed and abused his daughter in the family home has been jailed, against the victim's wishes.
The Nelson District Court yesterday heard details of the father's abuse, which started when the victim was an infant and stopped only after she had turned 17.
The offending happened in a home in the Nelson region, but all details that could identify either party have been permanently suppressed.
The man had pleaded guilty to four representative charges, the earliest from the 1960s, including: indecency with a girl under 12, sexual conduct with a young person under 16, doing indecent acts with intent to insult or offend, and having sexual intercourse with a girl under care or protection.
A summary of facts describes how the victim was groomed from age 3 to believe that the sexual acts her father performed on her were a normal part of family life as she was growing up.
By the time the victim was 15 "she was enticing the defendant to have sex with her with the false pretence that this was how families showed they loved each other", the statement recorded.
The man referred to some sex acts with his daughter as "tickles".
"The victim has struggled due to this offending happening throughout her life," the statement concluded.
The man was sentenced to prison for three years and seven months.
He will be eligible for parole after one third of that time.
The sentence was reduced because he pleaded guilty when confronted by police, he had no prior history of offending, and had shown genuine remorse and willingness to accept psychological counselling.
The victim's views were also considered.
Speaking outside of court, defence lawyer Mark Dollimore said the case was unusual, because of the extent to which the victim had forgiven her father.
She had written to the court, asking that her now-elderly father not be jailed, Dollimore said.
He said both parties had worked with professionals from Auckland-based Project Restore, to try and move forward from the father's historic abuse.
"With professional assistance, the whole family is supporting each other and will continue to when he gets out from jail," Dollimore said.
"The quality of [the victim's] forgiveness is just amazing," he said.
- The Nelson Mail