'Nightmare': Jailed for sexually abusing sister

A man who sexually abused his sister for years left his family "living what feels like a nightmare".

The 24-year-old, who has name suppression, was sentenced in the Dunedin District Court to eight and a-half years’ imprisonment on Friday.

A jury earlier found him guilty of 15 charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, 14 of which were representative.

The offending took place over multiple years and started when the defendant was 13.

The court heard the offending occurred regularly at multiple locations around the family’s rural Otago farm.

In a statement to the court, the mother of the victim said her life would never be the same again.

"You’ve destroyed our family, literally torn it apart.

If someone who I’m so close to can do such a thing to his baby sister ... then there is no limit to what a complete stranger can do to me or my loved ones."

Through teary eyes, she told the court she tried to give her children the perfect life.

"I threw the mouse into the lion’s den without realising it.

We are crushed and living what feels like a nightmare."

Judge David Robinson agreed the defendant’s actions had "devastated" the family.

"Those impacts are down to your selfish acts," he told the man.

"She’s your little sister, she looked up to you, she’s entitled to feel safe around you."

Counsel Andrew Dawson said the offending stopped without intervention.

The man continued to deny the offending and showed no remorse.

Judge Robinson could not include crimes when the defendant was 13 as he could not be held criminally responsible then.