An Australian father and his adult daughter whose sexual relationship has rocked the island nation revealed Sunday night on national TV that they had an apparently healthy child together after first losing a baby to congenital heart disease.
John Earnest Deaves and his daughter Jennifer Anne Deaves are at the center of an incest scandal in South Australia over their seven-year relationship.
The pair revealed their relationship on Australia's "60 Minutes" Sunday night, saying they were just asking for some respect and understanding.
In March this year, they were placed on three-year good behavior bonds after pleading guilty to two counts of incest.
District Court Sentencing Judge Steven Millsteed said the first count of incest was based on an act of sexual intercourse which resulted in the birth of the couple's first child.
The second count of incest related to an act of sexual intercourse which resulted in the birth of their second child in May last year.
"The first child was born in 2001 but died a few days after birth due to a congenital heart disease," Millsteed said.
The couple had begun a relationship after being reunited in 2000, almost 30 years after Deaves separated from Jenny's mother.
Because of problems with her own marriage, Jennifer Anne Deaves had gone to live with her father at Yongala, in South Australia.
Their physical relationship developed later that year and both ended their marriages and began living together.
"Each of you say that the other has provided care and affection that was missing in your marriage," Millsteed said.
"You also say that although you are father and daughter, that you were virtually strangers when your relationship commenced and that the relationship was based on mutual love and respect."
The couple had their first child while living in Rockhampton, Queensland, before moving to Port Pirie, in South Australia.
After the birth of their second child they moved to Bordertown, near the Victorian border where the Department of Families and Communities became aware of their relationship and turned the matter over to police.
Millsteed said that when contacted by police, the Deaves made full admissions.
He said both Jenny and John Deaves told him that they accepted their sexual relationship must end but hoped they would be able to continue to support one another and the children.
But he said while the case was not typical he had to impose a sentence that impressed upon them that any resumption of their incestuous relationship was unacceptable.
"The offense of incest exists not merely to protect children from sexual abuse," Millsteed said.
"In my view, other relevant factors include the need to prevent the high risk of congenital defects in children born of incestuous relationships and to prevent children suffering psychological harm and social stigmatization."
Revealing their relationship on "60 Minutes" last night, the Deaves said they were just asking for some respect and understanding.
Deaves admitted that he "initially" thought having sex with his daughter was wrong.
"Emotions take over, as people no doubt realize. There are times during your life where emotions do rule the heart, it rules the head," he said.
"I knew it was illegal. Of course, I knew it was illegal but you know, so what."