5 Aug 2014

17 years' jail for 'reign of terror'

8:38 pm on 5 August 2014

A man who subjected his family to what a judge described as a "domestic reign of terror" has been jailed for 17 years.

The 67-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had earlier been found guilty of several offences, including the rape of his wife, and four indecent assaults on one of his daughters when she was under 12 years old.

In sentencing at the Wellington District Court on Tuesday, Judge Arthur Tompkins said evidence given by his family showed a sense of fear and anger dominated the household.

He said it blighted their childhood and had severely and detrimentally affected their adult lives.

Judge Tompkins said a statement from the man's wife described how she felt like a prisoner in her own home, as her husband refused to allow her to learn to drive and controlled most aspects of her day-to-day life.

The court was told the man also used anger, domination and psychological abuse to control his family and his wife feels guilty that she could not intervene to stop that.