25 Jan 2017

Incestuous relationship 'must end totally and absolutely' - judge

1:51 pm on 25 January 2017

A Dunedin man's second conviction over a incestuous relationship with his daughter came after the pair's second child died of natural causes.

The 37-year-old and his 23-year-old daughter appeared for sentencing in Dunedin District Court today, after both pleaded guilty to the charge last year.

The pair - whose names have been permanently suppressed - were first convicted and sentenced in 2012 after having a daughter, but breached court orders and went on to have a son in 2013.

That offending came to light after a police investigation, and in November 2013 the couple's son died of natural causes.

In sentencing the pair today, Judge Kevin Phillips expressed his understanding of the circumstances that lead to the incest.

The father had been 13 years old and living in an abusive household, where he fathered a daughter with a woman in her thirties.

As the daughter grew up, she was also sexually abused by members of the same household, and only realised who her father was when she turned 16.

She turned to her young father for the love and support she had not received as a child, Judge Phillips said.

"It is clear in reality you have had no one," he said, addressing the woman.

"You've had no support, no affection, but plenty of physical and sexual abuse and violence."

The pair developed a sexual relationship that lead to the birth of a daughter. They were sentenced over that offending, but breached non-contact orders and continued their relationship.

Judge Phillips said the initial sentencing "entirely failed" because supervision was not monitored.

"The way in which it was managed totally defeated the whole purpose."

He took a tougher stance towards the father, saying his offending "strikes at the heart" of what the community considered proper conduct.

He noted the father saw himself as a victim, and had little remorse.

However the judge noted the offending by both defendants was unique, "having suffered the level and degree of abuse" both had been subjected to as children.

He said the father deserved one final chance to comply with the sentencing conditions.

"This is a very close run. You need to be the master and controller of what is now being put in place, and you need to be disciplined and solid as regards to your non association with your co-defendant."

"It has to end, and end totally and absolutely now, because if there is any repeat of this you will be seen as the principal offender."

The father was ordered to leave Dunedin and reside in a different town, and was sentenced to six months' community detention, as well as two years' intensive supervision.

He was ordered not to come within 100km of the Dunedin city boundries.

The daughter was sentenced to two years' intensive supervision, and ordered to stay within Dunedin for that time.

Both would be given counselling for the abuse they had suffered, and to overcome their own offending, the judge said.

The judge ordered the pair not to contact each other in any form.