Family man escapes jail for bashing daughter

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The Queenstown businessman who repeatedly bashed his 15-year-old daughter after reading her Facebook account – and discovering she had a boyfriend – has escaped jail.

The 42-year-old immigrant, who has business interests in Otago and Southland, was instead sentenced to 250 hours’ community work and 12 months’ supervision for one charge of assault with intent to injure.

The man has been granted final name suppression to protect the identity of his daughter.

Previously pleading guilty to the charge and spending the last six weeks in police custody, the court heard that the man arrived home at 10.30pm on August 23 and told his daughter to get out of bed and log on to Facebook.

After reading posts between her and her boyfriend, the man pulled her hair, slapped her across the face and pushed her into a wall.

With a bleeding nose, the girl pleaded with her father to stop and also asked her mother to intervene, but she didn’t. The man continued to punch and slap her on her body and face.

He went back and forth from the computer, reading the posts and returning to his daughter, slapping her each time he read something he didn’t like. He finished the 45-minute assault by lifting a chair and bringing it down on her.

Judge Raoul Neave told the man that some cultural differences that may be acceptable in his home country weren’t acceptable in New Zealand, although he struggled to believe that this sort of behaviour was condoned there.

He refused to accept that the man didn’t know about NZ laws – especially since he emigrated in 1991 and his three children were born here.

Several members of the man’s immediate and extended family – including his daughter – were in court today.

“You chose utterly unacceptable measures to deal with the problem,” Judge Neave says.

The judge was concerned by some of the comments in a report from the man’s daughter, which indicated how sorry she was.

“She had done nothing to be ashamed of. She did nothing wrong and I would hate to think that your behaviour has been successful.”