Father jailed after admitting incest

An Oamaru man committed incest with his youngest daughter, who became pregnant twice within six months, a court has heard.

The victim, who was a teenager at the time, miscarried on both occasions.

Court documents revealed only one of the pregnancies could definitively be attributed to the father.

A man in his 50s - who has been married to the victim’s mother for more than 20 years - pleaded guilty to three counts of incest and was jailed for three years and four months when he appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

The defendant cannot be named because it would identify the victim.

During an interview with Probation before sentencing, the man claimed his daughter should have been charged, too.

He argued she had initiated their first encounter.

Judge John Macdonald said the defendant "seems to miss the point".

"She’s 19 and his daughter, and has an IQ of 72," he said.

In April 2017, the victim moved back in with her family in Oamaru, court documents revealed.

The violation of the father-daughter bond began soon after.

It began when the defendant drove the teenager to Kurow under the auspices of  "an outing".

On the way home, he stopped in a rest area and the pair had sex in the front of the vehicle.

Over the next seven months, the incest continued.

"The defendant and the complainant would go out for a drive on the pretext that the defendant wanted to spend time with the complainant and talk to her, or that he was taking her for a driving lesson," a summary of facts said.

They would have sex in "various secluded locations" in North Otago. The abuse happened weekly, the victim told police when she eventually came forward in November.

In September, the routine varied.  The defendant took the girl on an overnight trip to Dunedin  where  they had intercourse in a motel.

Towards the end of April last year, the victim discovered she was pregnant.

The father of the child could only have been her father, she told police.

The woman miscarried in July but became pregnant again in October. That child  died in utero within a few months.

She told police the father could have been the defendant or one other person.

The victim, the court heard, was assessed as "borderline mentally subnormal" by health professionals and had been the victim of sexual abuse in the past.

Counsel Noel Rayner argued his client should receive a reduced sentence because of his own psychological issues.

But Judge Macdonald said they were mostly historical and currently only involved depression.

The victim was originally reluctant to provide a statement to the court but eventually agreed  at the 11th hour.

She wrote that she continued to have nightmares and was still reeling after family members refused to believe her account of what happened. She was now on medication to help her sleep.

The man’s first appearance before the Parole Board will occur once half the sentence is complete.

A protection order was granted in favour of the victim.



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