14 Mar 2017

Woman tells court father began abusing her age 11

8:39 am on 14 March 2017

A woman who says her father sexually abused her has told a court she was just 11 when her father gave her a glass of gin and fondled her for the first time.

Wellington District Court.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The 80-year-old man, a former teacher, has gone on trial on a range of sex crimes, including incest and indecent assault said to have been committed against three of his daughters during the 1970s and 1980s.

His name is suppressed to protect his victims.

The woman, now in her 50s, gave evidence at Wellington District Court today and a recorded police interview she had given was also played to the court.

She told the court that when she was 11, her father gave her a glass of gin while giving her a back rub.

He then moved in front of her, pulled up her nightie and began fondling her breasts, she said.

The woman said sometimes her father took her into his bed when her mother was out at work.

On one occasion while in her parents' bed, her father removed his clothes, put a condom on and forced her to masturbate him, she said.

Her father took opportunities to touch her, even when her mother was at home, she said.

"He used to keep grabbing me on my breasts, if mum wasn't looking. If i was standing at the sink or doing something he'd walk past and go like that [grabbing her breasts] and it was just horrible."

That went on until she was about 16, she said.

She told the court she began stealing when she was about 14 and had been in trouble her whole life.

She has also been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

When she was 25 she found out her sisters had been through the same thing, she said.

"I ended up in the psychiatric ward at Wellington Hospital and that's when I found out.

"They were so much younger than me. I had this thing for years that I should have looked after them but I hated him so much I couldn't."

Once, many years later, she had spoken to her father about what had happened and he blamed her, she said.

"He said, 'If you weren't walking around in see-through nighties and that sort of thing.' I didn't buy my clothes, they did. I was only 11."

Years ago she and her sisters had made a pact not to tell anyone about what had happened to them, but she did not feel she could make progress in her own life until she did something about her father.

Despite what she had been through she said she still loved her dad, but hated what he had done to her and her sisters.

"He's elderly and in ill health and I don't really want him to go to jail, but I want to make him accountable for what he's done to me."

The trial is continuing.