Is one white crow enough?

…that young person – the son of a rich-lister, Nikolas Delegat – attacks a female police officer and punches her unconscious and is sentenced to 500-odd hours of community work and a paltry $5000 in reparations. She was off work for two months.

Try doing that to a police officer in the United States, Canada, Germany or even Australia and you’d be doing serious jail time.

I’ve been critical of the Delegat sentence this week but top Queens Counsels (the lawyers rich people use) have told me to pull my head in and that this is entirely consistent with sentencing in this country.

If that’s true then maybe the justice system is out of step with what we all want as citizens.

Labour MP Stuart Nash broke convention to criticise the Delegat sentence, saying it was too light. Police Association president Greg O’Connor went further, suggesting that if Delegat was brown he’d be in jail.

But they’re all wrong too, according to the legal eagles.

So if they’re wrong, maybe it’s time to change the system and hand out tougher sentences for first-time violent thugs – and definitely cop bashers.

Because in this case perhaps the Judge couldn’t send Delegat to jail. The police ended up charging him with assault, rather than aggravated assault. This baffles me.

Our laws and sentencing options must reflect the revolting and despicable act of bashing a police officer unconscious – male or female.

Was it easier to get a conviction for assault? Did it save the Crown some money? This is deeply troubling

So is it consistent with other sentences?

Four Pakeha teenagers were sentenced in 2014 to various lengths of home detention, 300 hours of community work and monetary reparations after going on a burglary spree totalling nearly $80,000.

They stole four boats, fishing gear and outboard motors. Former Labour MP Dover Samuels described the sentence as “inadequate”. Social media said they escaped jail time because they were white.

So I went searching for another case. I wanted to prove the fancy QCs wrong.

Thomas Tawha was jailed for six months for stealing 59 trout over two occasions from a protected fishing area near Lake Rotoiti in 2014.

But unlike Delegat, Tawha had a long list of previous convictions. But really, should a man go to jail for stealing some fish?

Yet, still I haven’t proved my case that Delegat got off lightly.

Former Labour MP John Tamihere works with young Maori, he sees them in front of the court on a daily basis because police profile them from an early age and target them, he says.

Ministry of Justice figures suggest he is right: Maori are four times more likely to be charged with a crime compared to Pakeha – and seven times more likely to be jailed.

I went searching for one final case to compare to Delegat’s sentence.

I found it in the case of Louanne Huingarangi Edwardson, 30 – who was jailed for 20 months in 2011 for injuring a policewoman who had tried to help her when responding to a domestic violence callout.

Edwardson was drunk and lashed out with her feet, kicking the officer in the face and body, breaking her jaw and cracking several ribs. She was convicted of injuring with intent, resisting arrest and obstructing police.

She isn’t white and she didn’t have a QC defending her.

Delegat walks the streets. Edwardson did time. I rest my case.

The rich white kid got off lightly – no matter what the fancy lawyers say in defence of the so-called justice system.

I think unprovoked violence against anyone, but especially against a police officer, should carry a higher cost.  It would appear our need to feel justice is served on these occasions isn’t reflected int he law as it stands.

As I said yesterday.  We need higher penalties in many cases, especially for violence against people, more for unprovoked violence, and even more for violence against police.

 

Duncan Garner, Dominion Post

  • Bling Bling

    Good Points: Justice is a social value not an economic correlative or variable. The moJ don’t get it.

  • HR

    If Delegat had been injured by one of the police officers during the course of the arrest, they would have been dealt with more severely than he has. He got off very lightly. I hope he thinks about the ongoing effects his actions will have on the police officer he injured

    • H. Upmann

      Exactly. Reverse the situation and the cop would have certainly lost their job and fined heavily or perhaps jailed.

  • JEL51

    I did hear mentioned that there may have been a mental-health factor with this case. If that is so, it should have been brought to the attention of the public by the media, so everyone had a better understanding as to why the sentencing was such.

    • ridsel

      On balance of probabilities, it was likely ADD or something completely unrelated to being violent i.e. used as a smokescreen.

      • iera

        “The court was also told Delegat had mental health problems, stopped taking anti-depressants and wasn’t meant to be drinking.” – NBR

        Dunan Garner’s seemingly careless comment “sentenced to 500-odd hours of community work and a paltry $5000 in reparations.” could have been more accurate saying 300 hours community work –
        so the sentence is in fact much lighter than Garner says.

        The best test will be if the police appeal – Mr Billington QC

        • Dave

          Stopped taking his anti depressants. No difference to started taking alcohol or and drugs which caused him to become violent. All are conscious actions. Actions have consequences, he is an adult, he needs to be accountable to his actions.

          I hope there is an appeal, and young mr Delegate jets a few months of Jail Time.

          NB I have never managed to knock someone unconscious, so the force used must have been extreme.

          Ps. If he really had mental health problems, I hope they proved it by presenting his medical records going back years, or has it just become a convenient term to reduce responsibility.

          • iera

            “Wasn’t meant to be drinking” could suggest Delegat’s drinking was more irresponsible than just normal excess.

            If Delegat was supposed to be on anti-depressants, and presumably suffering depression, why was he drinking alcohol, a depressant?

            Garner fails to mention the real violence of the attack –

            “The first-year University of Otago student told a female officer “get off me, cop” before punching her in the face, and several more times after she lost consciousness. ”

            Most unfortunately, the Officer had suffered something similar before.
            Garner could have found his jailed example “closer to home” –

            “The female police officer, Kane, bashed by a rich-lister’s son was also knocked unconscious in an alcohol-fuelled attack five years earlier… she was the victim of another alcohol-fuelled assault on February 6, 2011.
            In that incident Kane and another officer were doing a bail check on Jamie Trev Cooper-Siggleko, when he returned a positive test for alcohol.
            Court documents show Kane asking Cooper-Siggleko to put his hands behind his back so she could handcuff him, but he objected and knocked her to the ground.
            Kane was then attacked by Cooper-Siggleko who punched her 10 times in the head, later joined in the attack by his then 15-year-old brother.
            She was knocked unconscious at one point. Her injuries included a bleeding nose and damaged wrist.
            Cooper-Siggleko denied punching Kane.
            He served three years and five months in prison for the assault and a benefit fraud charge, and was paroled just over a year ago.
            Cooper-Siggleko told Stuff he had tried to turn his life around and planned to open his own barbershop.
            “I have learnt from it. If it didn’t happen I wouldn’t be this person now.” ” – stuff

        • Miss McGerkinshaw

          Quite frankly, unless someone is diagnosed as ‘criminally insane’ mental health problems should not be a justification for violence or any criminal act.

          All these things alcohol, bad childhood, etc have become such ‘normal’ excuses ,and seem to work, so why wouldn’t the crims use them? Time to see them as what they are ‘excuses’.
          The person had made a decision to do something and that decision has consequences he doesn’t like so now want to take responsibility for his decision.

    • Damon Mudgway

      I suffer depression and I’m on meds. In the odd time I’ve been off them I can’t ever recall bashing a female cop unconscious. Really irks me they would even offer up such an excuse.

      • JEL51

        There is a difference of behavior with diagnosis in that schizoid personality-type are not necessarily aware or in control of what they do/act/behave. I am not defending the action just relaying what a guest on Larry’s show had to say and by doing so perhaps adding some light onto the outcome of the case.
        I am with you, any such actions should receive serious penalty regardless who they are……..
        ….but…………………. I will have a go at the Mental Health services every time. Their actions of throwing-their-hands-up, “oohh we don’t have the resources”……” no we can’t hold people against their”…. will however damaging to themselves & others they may become…….. too damned unconcerned to follow-up on patients yet decry any family in every way if they may try to help, using the “Privacy” act against them every time.
        If this young guy was of such a case, then perhaps the anger should be directed at the Psychiatric Profession and their failure to prevent such in the first place, that’s all.

  • The Accountant

    I’ve always given the Judiciary the benefit of the doubt, but I appear to have been hoodwinked. I would prefer we threw the book at the likes of Delegat, rather than raise everyone up to the limp-wristed sentencing he received. Nothing can excuse the attack on a policeperson.

  • Grizz30

    First of all I think he got off lightly. If not jail time he should have been made to work and sweat for a long time to pay reparations to the police officer. A few hours of community service just does not cut it. The only thing I can think of that may have helped apart from his demographic is that he had a clean criminal record which may have stood him out from other aggravated assaults.

    It would be good to have a judge’s opinion here.

    • MarcWills

      Although I agree the sentence is wrong, in fact 300 hours community service is actually quite a long time for this type of punishment. I guess that is about 30 weekends?

      And in Garner’s article, the essential fact he left out in his so called conclusion is did Louanne Huingarangi Edwardson have previous? What a suprise, such an important fact not mentioned, which tends to destroy his whole mission.

  • Big_Al

    I believe that many of the sentences that are handed out these days are far too lenient and do not act as a deterrant. I also believe that any form of assaults, be they verbal or physical, that are carried out on our police force need to be dealt with extremely severely. If we can’t give them the protection from the courts that they deserve when they are out there protecting us then what is our society becoming to.
    A lot of sentences appear to be based on who you are, how wealthy you are and who you know. This is wrong. The same sentence should be applied for the same crime no matter who or what you are and not race or wealth based.

  • YankeeManu

    It’s time to replace the dud judges when they hand out slaps on the wrist such as this. If I understand correctly, Delegat continued to punch an unconscious police officer. Surely that is the same as Australia’s ‘cowards punch’. This junior thug should be in lockup away from decent citizens. Also, his father should make a public statement distancing himself from the wannabe gangster as he has a lot to lose.

  • T Mardell

    Then lets just make sure this man’s actions are not forgotten. Let’s make sure his case is mentioned, and repeated and referred to in whatever forums there may be in years to come.

    If Delegat had been given what was perceived was a sentence reflecting the severity of the offence, we would quickly move on. In this case we won’t.

    • Aquarius 61

      Google has a long memory …

      • Aucky

        So do I…….no more Delegats wine in our household or at corporate functions.

        • Carl

          By doing that who are you hurting most. The Delegat’s family or there poor staff who has nothing to do with it who could lose their jobs if the companies sales drop a lot or innocent shareholders of the company.

          • Aucky

            Delegat Jnr should have thought about that before half killing a young female police officer. The staff can decide whether they wish to continue working for a family that enables such unconscionable violence on a young woman by using their influence and money to defend him. Shareholders can exercise their consciences whether they wish to continue with their shareholding.

          • Damon Mudgway

            Until I see a written statement from the loser father condemning the actions of his son, and offering in no way to apologise for said behaviour, then the Delegat family and their business can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

  • Boss Hogg

    Police should always travel in pairs for a start. Offering violence to a police officer should get home detention and a fine. Actual violence should get 12 months in prison. We need to support our Police much better than we do. The Police are tasked with enforcing the law but they are prevented from doing so with lack of support. In any other job the employer would never get new applicants for the job. Tell a blacksmith that he is not allowed to use his hammer?

  • sandalwood789

    We don’t have a justice system in this country.
    We have a slap-everyone-with-a-wet-bus-ticket system.

    Bring a US sheriff over here and they would laugh their heads off at the panty-waisted pussyish “sentences” handed out by our so-called “judges”.

    • Gaynor

      And there lies the problem ..lawyers who have spent a large part of their careers, as lawyers, defending criminals, are appointed as judges…and we wonder why the sentences are so light.

    • Cadwallader

      We have a penal system which well may be too soft. We do have a justice system. If I were wrongfully charged with a crime anywhere in the world I’d prefer to be tried in NZ ahead of anywhere else. We have a largely un-corrupted police force, courts which follow precedents (including penalties) and state-funded access to well trained and sternly disciplined lawyers. If this is insufficient, then opt for Sharia.

  • I seem to recall that Edwardson had a large number of priors, so the cases are not comparable. Having said that, assaulting a police officer should result in jail time and also a first strike.

  • Imagine the outcry from the SJB’s if the Policewoman had seen the first punch coming and planted the little git first.

    • Raibert

      I wondered this also. If she had of seen the punch comming and tasered him you can gaurantee he and his family would have played the misguided victim card.

      • TheRobberDog

        Sorry I can’t help it… You didn’t need the ‘of’ 😊

  • niggly

    Garner’s conclusions are a bit simplistic eg “being white gets you off” (which also plays into the Racist-Left activist narrative). It is really all the reasons said here by people eg the family could afford top legal representation, his mental health etc.

    Plus the problem that the QC’s seem to be suggesting to Garner is the law is too weak, no doubt watered down to give the “disadvantaged” another chance and not be stigmatised for life by the “whitey system”.

    So it’s odd that Garner doesn’t seem to recognise this and that this Delegat person also benefits from a light sentence (which he shouldn’t have) thanks to deliberately written weak laws (that it seems Judges have little leeway to enforce most of the time) that factor in the well-being of the defendant (and Delegated has also benefited from).

    To counter Garner’s assertion in another way what about the case of the two Maori kids who killed an Auckland shop-keeper last year and received light sentences because of their home situation that affected their well-being?

  • Raibert

    It will be interesting to see a little further on in time how he attempts to overcome problems with attaining travel visas to countries which don’t allow those with criminal convictions entry. I would bet his family try to get his conviction expunged due to hardship in the future. We should all be vigilant on this and not forget he got off very lightly.
    As for his father, he should front up and publicly acknowledge his sons problems. Then get on and help him deal with these. I don’t believe as someone has commented that “cutting him loose” is any sort of solution.
    I like others will now not buy Delegats products.

    • Cadwallader

      Aren’t you being a trifle hysterical? Why should the father front for his adult son’s conduct? Why should this idiot’s behaviour be used to besmirch the rest of his family and their business interests?

      • niggly

        Good point about the latter, I can think of other adult aged sons that cause their successful, normal, hard working parents a lot of grief for similar reasons, if not worse and it drives them crazy also … as what can they do, especially as they are the very few left that have to support their own son etc?

  • Dog Breath

    Reading between the lines I think the judge was setup to fail when the police decided to charge with assault rather than the much more serious aggravated assault. Going by the definition this case looks like aggravated assault to me so why did Police choose a lessor charge that to me is the greater question not the judges sentencing.
    Was this because the police knew they would face a very competent QC who had a reasonable probability of achieving not guilty or was it because of who the perpetrator is be it white or son of a person with high business standing. The latter two scenarios are of much greater concern if true.

  • Phenandra

    Rich boys, rugby players, lawyers’ sons all get an easy ride from our judiciary and always have. Many of our judiciary are incapable of being objective or feel free to ignore the intent of the law, and parliament needs better control of them.

    • TheRobberDog

      Don’t forget the Iwi Leaders and the Maori ‘king’…

  • BigNose

    Sorry, but that is a load of BS. Maori are not profiled from a young age – they are brought up by immoral parents to think crime is okay. THAT is why they are over represented in prison. In all the cases quoted the young brown offenders had already notched up a list of criminal activities.
    I happen to agree that any attack such as Delegat’s should have an immediate, compulsory prison sentence – for any skin colour. But judicial pussy-footing means that young drunks are conditioned that they can get away with a slap on the wrist. Time to use the prison system for what it was intended – as a means of keeping the lawless out of society for society’s protection. Keep giving second chances and the crime becomes acceptable, and society’s morals get further eroded.

  • Wheninrome

    It seems the only forgivable crime for maori is the beating and killing of their children. I am thinking Kahui twins, Moko etc.,

  • Aucky

    Delegat Jnr may well believe that he has gotten off lightly but you can guarantee that he will be receiving a lot of special attention from the boys and girls in blue. I’ll bet his reggo details have been memorised by every cop in the country. Best to use rentals for the foreseeable future, sonny.

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