Sensible Sentencing Trust

The Press editorial on politicising tragedy

In the wake of the sentencing of scumbags Tania Shailer and David Haerewa for killing “Moko”, the Press editorial takes issue with the politicising of tragedy.

The “justice for Moko” movement was an expression of populism at its most raw and sincere. People came together for peaceful protests outside courthouses from Whangarei to Invercargill on Monday. The crowds were typically small, numbering between 100 and 200. A group of 30 assembled on Stewart Island, which does not even have a courthouse. The largest reported crowd of 500 was in Rotorua, where Tania Shailer and David Haerewa were sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

It hardly needed to be demonstrated, but the protests showed that disgust at the horrific, sustained violence inflicted on a toddler by people who were supposed to care for him is a national issue. More than that, it showed that Moko had, like Nia Glassie eight years earlier, transcended the specifics of his own story to become a symbol of both the terrible potential for individual violence and a failure of systems that are supposed to protect children.    Read more »

Outlaw gangs? Not likely says Black Power boss

A FORMER high-ranking member of the Black Power has hit out at calls to abolish gangs, saying it’s a culture that is entrenched in New Zealand society – and nothing, or nobody, will ever change that.

The comments follow calls again this week from Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson Scott Guthrie to outlaw abolish gangs, gang regalia and anything associated with gangs.

Guthrie claims gangs are nothing more than “murdering rapists” who indulge in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs to children and the wider community.

“New Zealand has a huge gang problem which our politicians cannot deny. Our politicians need to start stepping up and telling the public exactly what it is they intend to do to eliminate these murdering clowns from society,” he said.

“Also when are they going to start demanding Judges pass sentences that reflect the abhorrence of these heinous crimes?”

Guthrie made special mention of the 1996 murder of Christopher Crean by Taranaki Black Power member Brownie Mane and three others.

Mane was released from prison in July last year after serving 19 years behind bars.    Read more »

Banned on Facebook because of sex offences with minors? No problem just change your name

THE FIRST woman to be convicted in New Zealand for having sex with a minor is thumbing her nose at being blacklisted from the popular social networking site Facebook.

In December 2005, Briar Dravitzki, a 23-year-old solo mother, pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court to two charges of performing an indecent act with a boy who was 13.

She claimed the boy had told her he was 17.

She was sentenced to 240 hours of community work, nine months’ supervision and ordered to undergo specialist treatment.

Eight years later following a campaign from the Sensible Sentencing Trust to ban all sex offenders from Facebook, Dravitzki was officially blacklisted from the site.

But now she’s back on Facebook – under the name of Briar Emson, a ‘full-time Mummy’ living in New Plymouth.

Although Facebook has no legal right to ban sex offenders, it still does based on information from organisations like the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

In 2013 an American appeals court found an Indiana law barring registered sex offenders from using social networking sites was unconstitutional and prohibited “substantial protected speech”.

That decision followed a class action suit challenging the law on behalf of sex offenders, including a man identified only as John Doe, who served three years for child exploitation.

The appeals court found the original court decision hindered “constitutionally protected online interactions with other adults at a time when that form of communication is as common and necessary as the telephone was just a few years ago”.   Read more »

Greg Presland can’t count

The only Labour MP to win a seat from National in the 2014 election is getting beaten up by the halfwits in the echo chamber that is the Standard.

Chief halfwit Mickey Savage aka Greg Presland, makes the following stupid claim based on not being able to count or analyse election results.

Good on him for winning.  If you look at the 2011 and 2014 election results in Napier you will see that his proportion of the electorate vote barely changed but National’s plunged by 19% points because of an energetic campaign by the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s candidate Garth McVicar.  His success was directly due to McVicar’s presence but hey, in politics winning is all important. 

Once again I have to point out what a load of bullshit the “McVicar won Napier for Nashy” argument is. We have had to do this repeatedly when the left and the media don’t bother to do the analysis properly. Here is the correct analysis.

Did Stuart Nash win Napier because of the Conservatives?

The short answer is no.

The long answer is that with a majority of 3733 Nash would have almost certainly won whether Garth McVicar was in the race or not.    Read more »

Pay the fine or do the time

Why are fines being wiped?

We should be rounding up recalcitrant debtors and putting them in prison…either pay the fine or do 30 days for each $200 owed.

Three busy New Zealand courts wiped almost $10 million in fines from their books for the last financial year but an opponent of the move says it is sending “the wrong message” to offenders.

Just under $9.8m in fines was remitted at Auckland, Manukau and Christchurch District Courts in the 2014/2015 financial year. It compares to $13.7m at the same three district courts in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Police infringements – such as those for speeding – make up a large chunk of the dollar value, according to information released under the Official Information Act.    Read more »

Contrast and Compare: SERCO gets minced and Corrections gets a free pass

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A convicted sex offender, Zane McVeigh, led the Wellington police on a brief chase yesterday after removing his electronic bracelet.

It was believed there were still 19 people evading the authorities after removing their devices.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said the monitoring system had systemic problems, and was putting the public at risk.

“We advocated that it would only be for low-level, non-violent offenders. But now you’re seeing top end, violent offenders being put out there.

“It was always going to happen when they started expanding the use of it,” he said.

“Ultimately, really we don’t have an option but to use prison more for those violent offenders, and those that are just going to give their middle fingers to the system.”

That’s the scary thing.  We have known sex offenders in the community.  I say known, but of course we’re not allowed to know who they are.  It’s a total secret.  Could be the next person you meet.   Read more »

Victims being put ahead of criminals? Am I dreaming?

More than $100,000 has been paid to some of the country’s most notorious criminals for mistreatment in prison. But under a new law, they won’t be able to get their hands on it while they are jailed and their victims can claim compensation from the payouts.

In a landmark High Court ruling in 2002, $358,000 in costs was awarded to five prisoners after they successfully sued Auckland Prison in Paremoremo for holding them in solitary confinement.

The first tranche of payments has been made to former Satan’s Slaves gang member Leslie Tofts, serial rapist Nicholas Reekie, murderer Christopher Taunoa, aggravated robber Alistair Robinson and Matthew Kidman, who in 2012 escaped from Hutt Valley District Court.

The money has been put into trust accounts and newspaper advertisements published yesterday invite victims of the men to apply for a share of the money.

But Garth McVicar, founder of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, said he didn’t believe many would. “The victims don’t want anything to do with the offenders.” Read more »

If there is one good to come from Blessie’s cruel death, let it be better preventative detention law

Nobody could keep the creep locked up.  His rights had to be respected, no matter how certain it would be that someone was going to be at the wrong end of it.  There will be dozens of people who can’t sleep well knowing they did everything they could, but they simply didn’t have the legal tools to deal with such evil.

Why are we talking about flags, and anthems, when we have something this important to do?

The murder of Blessie Gotingco has sparked a call for judges to be able to revisit dangerous offender’s sentence at the end of their prison time.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for such a law change, which while it might breach the Bill of Rights at least one law academic believes it is “worth talking about”.

Name suppression lifted yesterday for 28-year-old Tony Douglas Robertson, who raped and murdered Mrs Gotingco in May 2014 just six months after being released on strict conditions after serving his full eight-year sentence for abducting and molesting a five-year-old girl.

SST spokesman Garth McVicar says the Government should change the law so an offender’s sentence can be reconsidered once they have reached the end of their jail time.   Read more »

The photo in which Colin Craig leaves a sauna with a bisexual male…

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Colin Craig after a sauna with David Farrier.

Colin Craig is feeling pretty good at the moment. He’s just been on Newsworthy getting sweaty man hugs from David Farrier in a sauna.

On top of that rumour has it he wrote an enormous cheque so his pre-erection pre-election misdeeds won’t be made public.

Even better, the Conservative Party Board still don’t know half of what Colin really got up to.   Read more »

Why did the NZ Herald protect a bullying sex offender’s identity?

Yesterday the NZ Herald ran a story about Gin Wigmore pushing back on a Facebook troll.

The NZ Herald ran a screen shot of the post and the response from Wigmore.

For some reason they obscured the identity (photo and name) of the troll.

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Why cover that up?    Read more »