The case of a Wanganui man accused of repeatedly grabbing his daughter's breasts has been declared a mistrial.

The 47-year-old man, who has name suppression, had pleaded not guilty in the Whanganui District Court to four charges of performing indecent acts on a young person.

Defence counsel Debbie Goodlet applied for a mistrial, the reasons for which are suppressed, which Judge David Cameron granted yesterday afternoon.

The now 22-year-old alleged victim had given evidence on Monday and Tuesday that her father had entered her room on four separate occasions when she was 15 to feel her breasts and to make lewd comments toward her.


The accused and his wife were called by Ms Goodlet on Tuesday to give evidence and, under cross examination from Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe, the wife admitted burning a "general confession" by her husband, a document written after a spiritual retreat.

After repeated questioning from Mr Rowe the woman said this was because she "might have'' believed the police "would love to get their hands on it'' and the woman confirmed she had burnt the document to protect her husband.

She denied telling the accused and the victim to go to confession, because "men are weak creatures and we have to protect them", despite Mr Rowe saying he would present witnesses confirming she had made that statement.

After declaring the mistrial Judge Cameron dismissed the jury and remanded the accused on bail until a callover on October 2.