Why giving criminals hugs never works

When I talked with Garth McVicar on Tuesday he spoke of recidivist offenders being given the equivalent og hugs by liberal judges and for that offender then going out and committing even worse crimes.

Look no further for a poster case of how liberal criminal friendly judges and a system have resulted in the death of a small child.

In September in Wanganui District Court, Ratana’s then partner told a judge she and Ratana had moved to Hawke’s Bay to make a better life. Ratana had appeared before Judge John Clapham to be sentenced on minor charges, including disorderly behaviour.

The Wanganui Chronicle reported that Judge Clapham asked Ratana’s partner, who was in the public gallery, to tell Ratana what they needed him to do so they could have a good life with their two-year-old son.

Ratana reportedly cried as his partner looked at him and said she wanted him to change.

“I’m trying to get you to see we are better off in our life away from here. Whanganui is no good for you, you need to get away from here, from the people you know here. We have moved away to have a proper life with our son,” she said.

“You can do it, I know you can. Please do it for us.”

Ratana wiped his eyes and said: “Yeah, I’ll do it.”

Judge Clapham told Ratana to get on with it and put his best foot forward. He then convicted and discharged him without penalty. “I want you to write to me in 12 months and tell me how wonderful your life is,” Judge Clapham said. But that letter is unlikely to ever be written by Ratana, who may well face further charges. His lawyer Eric Forster said yesterday charges were still “somewhat fluid”.

Of course the only person responsible for the killing of that small child is the killer himself, but it appears clearly that Judge Clapham may well have blood on his hands along with his original defence lawyer who produced the charade of remorse that led to him being convicted and discharged without penalty.

This country needs to get tough on child abuse, and we need to start putting people in prison for a very long time. I don’t think it is possible for anyone who bashes and kills a child to ever be rehabilitated and therefore they should be removed for an indefinite period of time.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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