An Omokoroa woman who lived in a household where violence and drug abuse was the norm has been jailed for four months for wilfully ill-treating her children.
Jade Kara Rose, 30, sobbed as she was led out of Tauranga District Court yesterday after being sentenced. She had admitted three charges of wilfully ill-treating a child aged under 16 in a way that was likely to endanger their health.
Rose's appearance followed the sentencing of her former partner Reuben Anthony Major last month to 20 months in jail for brutally beating his two children and three step-children, aged 2 to 10.
Judge Christopher Harding described the "hugely destructive relationship" between Rose and Major in a household where "violence, drug use and verbal abuse was the norm".
He said Rose had significant issues with alcohol and drug abuse and the children had been removed from her care.
Judge Harding agreed with her lawyer Glenn Dixon that the primary source of the violence on the children had been Major.
While she had less ability to respond because of the violence inflicted on her, Rose still failed to act, he said. "Your culpability was markedly less than your partner's," he said.
Rose's probation report referred to a history of violence, gang associations and extensive alcohol and drug abuse.
A drug abuse counsellor said Rose had showed no motivation to deal with her substance abuse problems. The court heard how each of her older children had been kept out of school for about 40 days last year because she was unwilling to publicly reveal her bruises and black eyes.
Judge Harding said he was not confident Rose would cope with home detention. Her four months' imprisonment included a two-month reduction for her guilty plea. She was ordered to undertake alcohol and drug abuse treatment programmes.
Mr Dixon said Rose felt powerless to protect the children because of the amount of ongoing violence against her, but acknowledged that she had failed her children.