A woman jailed today in Napier for failing to stop her husband's rape of her daughter has been told by a judge she doesn't "get it" and shows more interest in the future of the man now in jail than she does in the future of her own child.
In Napier District Court Judge Geoff Rea was particularly disturbed by the woman's admission that, probably at the expense of supporting her daughter and other children, was sending money at $40 a week to her husband in jail, where he is serving a term of eight years and five months imposed in May last year for multiple sexual violation of the girl since she was nine years old.
"She just doesn't get it," the judge said during a sentencing which ended with the woman, aged in her 40s, to two years and four months having after a year in the courts pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to protect a child aged under 18 years and one of failing to provide a child with the necessities of life.
The woman had continually denied knowledge of what was happening in her home, and claimed to have "robustly" challenged her husband and the girl on what was happening, Judge Rea said.
While her admissions came only after a sentencing indication hearing, she must have known that whatever was happening should not have been, the judge said.
"You knew full well something was going on," he said, adding the woman must have appreciated that what started at such a young age for the girl would get worse and "much more serious", and that was what happened, without the woman doing anything to protect the young girl.
She had added to the emotional trauma by enabling her husband to contact the other children in the family, she had shown inclination towards having her husband back in the home when he is released, and she applied pressure close to "blackmail" to other members of the family in having them provide reference material to the court in support of her bid for a sentence of home detention.
He told the woman, as she stood in the dock, dressed in checked top with a short red scarf, that she had described the man as a good husband and a good father "in the face of what he did to your daughter."
"You show no interest in protecting your daughter into the future," he said, rejecting claims of remorse made on her behalf by defence counsel Matt Dixon, and doubting whether she also had any interest in protecting other children from the man.
The claims of remorse were also rejected by Crown prosecutor Jo Reilly who said the woman was only interested in a home detention if it could be served at her home, which is also the home of her daughter.
The Judge ruled home detention out as an option, saying it would do nothing to denounce what had happened.
"Your concerns are quite clearly with the perpetrator rather than the victim, and that has been quite clear throughout," Judge Rea said. The woman's name is suppressed to protect the identities of the complainant and other children.