A man in an arranged marriage, who was found guilty of assaulting and raping his wife, believed he was the victim of a scheme by her to gain residency, a court has been told.
The man, 47, was found guilty by a jury in the Napier District Court last month on three charges of rape, three of assault and two of threatening to kill. Judge Tony Adeane yesterday sentenced the man to nine years in prison. The man cannot be named as it would identify his victim, whom he married by arrangement, according to Sikh custom.
The judge said the man believed his wife fabricated the allegations and continued to see himself "as a victim of a scheming wife who has used marriage to obtain residency".
A group of about 60 people from the Sikh community were in court.
The man's lawyer, Russell Fairbrother QC, said the offending, which occurred in December 2012, was due to the breakdown of a marriage and was not a cultural issue.
Fairbrother said the Sikh community wished to express their "very strong concern that the issues that arose in this marriage were not raised in the community".
If the issues had been raised, they could have been addressed and would not have resulted in criminal offending, Fairbrother said.
The judge agreed and said the issues were of a nature encountered in marriages of any culture.
He said the victim had come to New Zealand shortly before the offending. "The young lady, on arriving in New Zealand, was short of English. She had no family here, she was vulnerable and dependent on you to an unusual extent," the judge told the man. "You took advantage of that."
The judge said the man breached the trust which was "implicit in all marriages". If the Sikh community had been made aware of the situation, it might have been able to provide assistance, he said.
- The Dominion Post