Two generations of abuse
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.