Two gen­er­a­tions of abuse

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

A MAN whose sex­ual abuse spanned more than three decades and in­volved two gen­er­a­tions of his fam­ily has been jailed.

The 70-year-old Auck­land man, who can­not be iden­ti­fied, was sen­tenced to seven-and-a-half years’ im­pris­on­ment at the Auck­land High Court last Fri­day.

He pleaded guilty to 36 charges in De­cem­ber, in­clud­ing sodomy, nu­mer­ous counts of in­de­cent as­sault, com­mit­ting in­de­cent acts and in­duc­ing oth­ers to com­mit them.

The vic­tims were his four chil­dren, his grand­daugh­ter, daugh­ter-in-law and a friend of the fam­ily.

Jus­tice Gra­ham Lang said the vic­tims, mostly aged be­tween six and 17 at the time of the of­fend­ing, were vul­ner­a­ble be­cause of the po­si­tion of trust the man held over them.

“They could do noth­ing to re­sist what you were do­ing. I sus­pect many of them did not at the time even know what you were do­ing to them was wrong.

“You took ad­van­tage of that vul­ner­a­bil­ity for your own grat­i­fi­ca­tion. In a nutshell, you have wrought dev­as­ta­tion on your fam­ily.”

The vic­tim im­pact state­ments made “tragic read­ing”, Jus­tice Lang said.

The eldest son was 12 years old and the abuse con­tin­ued un­til he left home, aged 17.

The sec­ond son was also abused be­tween the ages of 12 and 18, some­times by his un­cle and fa­ther at the same time.

The un­cle was sen­tenced to one year and 10 months in prison.

Along with abus­ing his two sons, the 70-year-old also in­de­cently as­saulted two of his daugh­ters from child­hood into ado­les­cence.

He even as­saulted the older daugh­ter while she was in a wheel­chair in hospi­tal, said Jus­tice Lang.

Other vic­tims were his daugh­ter-in-law, who was 21 when he be­gan in­de­cently as­sault­ing her and his grand­daugh­ter, who was 11 when the of­fend­ing started.

Jus­tice Lang said the vic­tims faced a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion when they de­cided to go to the po­lice about their fa­ther.

“They need to know they bear no blame what­so­ever for the sit­u­a­tion that has now arisen. The vic­tims are en­tirely in­no­cent and they need to move on in that knowl­edge.”

He apol­o­gised to his vic­tims and their fam­i­lies through his lawyer Louise Freyer at the sen­tenc­ing.

He also ex­pressed hope that there would be a chance for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in the fu­ture.

Jus­tice Lang took into ac­count the of­fender’s early guilty plea, ex­pres­sion of re­morse and will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in treat­ment.

He also ac­knowl­edged the man’s age and health prob­lems, which in­clude di­a­betes and hy­per­ten­sion.

Fol­low­ing the sen­tenc­ing, the eldest son said the vic­tims felt the re­sult is light but un­der­stand it was the best re­sult they were go­ing to get.

“We’re call­ing it the end of a chap­ter. We’ve got to the stage where we have to move on with our lives.

“What’s hap­pened is never go­ing to go away but it sort of closes the chap­ter with him be­ing sen­tenced.”

He says most of the vic­tims have had coun­selling, which has helped them cope.

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