A man who plied his stepdaughter with methamphetamine and cannabis and subjected her to 16 months of sexual abuse has been jailed for seven years eight months.
The abuse occurred in the Canterbury area when the girl was aged 12 and 13.
At the age of 14 she was self-harming by cutting herself with anything she could find and prostituting herself to buy the drugs that her stepfather had introduced her to.
“Now I can’t live without anti-depressant medication,” she said in her victim impact statement.
The man, now aged 38, cannot be named because it would identify the victim who was at the Christchurch District Court to see his sentencing by Judge Raoul Neave.
The man, who is a serving prisoner, pleaded guilty to the charges in June and has written a letter of apology to the victim.
Judge Neave said it was evident that she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, and the man’s offending had a devastating effect on her and her family. She talked of having “lost my family”.
The man had married her mother and began sexual offending against her just before she started high school.
Defence counsel Craig Ruane said the man’s methamphetamine use did not excuse the behaviour but went some way to explain it. People using the drug sometimes behaved in odd or bizarre fashion.
“As is so often the case, those using methamphetamine get a very warped view of the world. At the time, they are able to justify their behaviour by that warped view.”
Prosecutor Tim Mackenzie said the Crown sought a heavy sentence because of the harm done to the victim and the use of a weapon in some of the offending.
The court was told that the man showed the girl a knife when the offending began, and later told her that she would die or her family would be hurt if she told anyone.
The man became paranoid about armed people being on his property, sometimes blamed the girl, and attacked her. He punched her as she slept, giving her a black eye and pointed a crossbow at her head.
“It is typical of the type of behaviour of those who use and abuse this drug,” the judge said.
The man was a chronic dope user and had enabled and encouraged the girl to use cannabis and methamphetamine.
The man had admitted charges of supplying the drugs to a child, four charges of assaulting her, and four of having unlawful sexual connection with a young person.
Judge Neave jailed him for seven years eight months and imposed a minimum non-parole period of half that term.