They would wouldn’t they

Lawyers are tut-tutting over the fact that people are upset with the molly-coddling of the 16 year old child rapist from Turangi by a Judge.

A judge’s remarks that the teenager accused of raping a 5-year-old girl at a Turangi campground looked “very smart” are not unusual for the Youth Court, lawyers say.

The girl’s parents have urged Judge Jocelyn Munro to consider their daughter’s feelings after the remarks made at a court hearing last week.

“We felt the judge’s comment about the offender’s smart looking [appearance] was out of place,” said a statement from the parents, who are European tourists.

But lawyers who work in the Youth Court say such comments by judges are commonplace and are directed by the law.

“I can understand why the victim’s family could be upset in the circumstances, but I don’t think it’s showing any bias or anything else,” Manukau barrister Kate Leys said. “There’s a statutory requirement upon the court to make sure the young person understands and participates in the proceedings.”

All palaver over his dressing nice and writing a prayer doesn’t take anything away from the fact that he committed very serious adult crimes. Lawyers and Judges are part of the problem here not part of the solution.

To that end some people have created an online petition seeking to have his case moved from the youth court to the District Court. They feel that enough is enough – there is too much violent crime in New Zealand. They are horrified at the reports in the paper and feel would like to do something about this. They are trying to gain 10,000 signatures by Wednesday. With the help of my readers I am sure they can get there.

 


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  • Orange

    I am allowed to give opinion to the idea that it probably wasn’t his first foray into abusing children, ie. that this level of violence is probably standing on the shoulders of many previous experiences on his own wider family.

    • Troy

      Spot on.  I worked a number of years ago with male teenagers who were, in the majority, absolutely obsessed with sex, eroticism, exhibitionism and fetishes that would make your hair curl.  They weren’t particularly “abnormal” but just simply couldn’t resist the urge to go a step further with it than most others.  So there is a chance that this guy has carried out such acts in the past and possible for many years before his age of 16 – but just didn’t get caught.

  • GPT

    So pointing out some facts is to be derided?  You may not like the Youth Court or it’s processes, that’s legitimate political debate, but having a crack because a lawyer has the temerity to actual bring some facts into a beat up is pretty low. 

    The HOS “story” was disgusting and showed a complete lack of respect to the victim’s family by taking one comment by the Judge and racing off to get a quote.  How about leaving the family alone so they can be assisted through the process with support of police and victim’s advisers rather than a gutter tabloid trying to sell print.

    The victim’s family are entitled to be at the FGC and/or represented (more involvement than in the adult jurisdiction), reports from this will go to the Judge who will consider whether to decline jurisdiction (based on the law rather than a petition).  I would expect, given the offending (as reported) is about as serious as it gets without killing someone, that the matter will then go to the District Court for sentencing. 

    • Paul Rain

      Wow, that sounds great. The victim’s family can be empowered by being represented at a lovely Family Group Conference. Isn’t it great that they can be empowered, just as the victim, and his Family, can be, by being present at a Family Group Conference. Family Group Conferences help counter the mean, nasty Youth Court, which the Ministry of Justice calls “culturally inappropriate [and] adversarial” in nature. They Empower the Community. According to ‘Justice’, “they reflect some aspects of centuries-old sanctioning and dispute resolution traditions of the Maori of New Zealand”, which is great, because those seem to be working well at the moment.

      Isn’t it nice that Family Group Conferences “involve the young offender… and their [family] in the decision-making process”? They even allow the “mediation of concerns between the victim, the offender and their
      families as a means to achieve reconciliation, restitution and
      rehabilitation.” I’m sure a Family Group Conference will be able to come up with a good way for the baby-raper to ‘reconcile’ with the only real family involved, the family of the victim.

  • Guest

    Rather than suggest people join the online petition, why not ask them to hold hands and sing along, it’ll be just as effective. Because if you seriously think the judiciary is going to say :”hell there’s a lot of people interested in this, let’s change our rules on a whim and go with that” you’re probably a believer in Ken Ring earthquake predictions too.

    • Paul Rain

      Irrelevant. But it might help convince National to consider being, oh, a tenth as tough on youth crime as the evil conservative Labour Party in the 1950s.

      • GPT

        Court of Appeal says that the offenders age is a limited mitigating factor where the offence is serious violence.  The maximum penalty is 20 years.  One can’t predict the process but perhaps wait until he is sentenced before complaining about lack of rigour in sentencing.

      • Paul Rain

        I’m sorry.. I really shouldn’t use history as a guide to what I think. The heart is more important. Shouldn’t this kid be in a Rangatahi Court, anyway? It’s so “ugly” that Maori are over-represented as criminals, after all.

      • Hadron

        Spot on Paul. Is it not interesting that the Nat’s can in little under three years recognize that people want welfare reform, organize a law commission to review said system, have meetings to review the commissions finds and finally get organized enough to be able to look at implementing what changes they like….but we still can not get any significant movement on dealing with crime. Which in its self leads people with little else to do with their time venting their frustrations with banal and meaningless on-line petitions.

    • Mickrodge

      In addition to that, would it kill them to proof read the petition request before submitting it as well?

      It sounds like an Alabama lynch mob wrote it.

      • Paul Rain

        Quite an unkind comment that. Most lynchings were in response to crimes that the governmental system of justice could not adequately handle- before the few excesses got beaten up by muckraking journos they received widespread approval. I’m willing to bet that the Californian Governor who promised the lynchers of Brooke Hart’s kidnappers pardons could have written a much better petition.

      • GPT

        To Paul Rain  – must lynchings?  Hmm, like the lynching of the nearest black person to a crime with out any appplication of or regard for the rule of law?

      • Paul Rain

        Way to show that you have never read anything about lynching in America. Ever heard of the ‘Wild’ West- where there was little more crime than the rest of America despite most criminals being handled by summary justice? How many black people do you think there were in the ‘Wild’ West (answers based on the film ‘Wild Wild West’ not accepted)?

    • GPT

      There is no legal basis for a Judge to take into account such a petition.

      • Thorn

        A law unto themselves, with blood on their hands for which they are not held accountable. Winston Peters did a fine job in outing some of you c*nts in parliament – dirty, perverts with sham lives.

  • Steve and Monique

    It has to be considered that if we soft sell the law to these young offenders,they will show little or no respect in the future.Also his show of disrepect for the Police on his facebook page,must set off a bell somewhere.Telling him nice things will make no difference,and most likely he is taking the piss.I am sure he has been coached by someone.on how to act,and to dress in court.Family member,or his lawyer,you take your pick.The law,and those who enforce said laws need to be shown respect from all sides of the public.It is a joke at present,and all this well meaning molly codling of offenders is going no where.Lets just take off the blinkers and get on with the the fact,you break the law,you will be treated to being convicted,sent to jail,and depending on the crime not seeing the light of day for a good long time.All this community service,home detention,nonsense needs a good look at to.High risk sex offenders should not get home detention,but do,so who else is floating around out there with an electronic invisible fence to keep them from wandering the streets.Well lets hope that a Govt in this country might start growing a pair and reforming this whole sad story.To the parents of the 5 year old,we are as offended as you are.Sorry is just not enough.

  • Quintin Hogg

    I agree with GPT.

    The Herald repeaters reporting of the Youth Court hearing was poor.

    The Youth Court Judge will decline jurisdiction and the entry of a plea and sentencing will take place in the District Court.

    Then the defendant will be sent off to prison for a long time.

    The sad thing is that the period he spends in prison will simply complete his education in criminal and gang activity.

    • Michael Duke

      Which is why the solution to this comes in .308 calibre.

      • Paul Rain

        I prefer bolt pistols.. even Chinese .308 ammo is so expensive.

      • Michael Duke

        There are only so many soft judges. :)

      • Steve and Monique

        .22 calibre is a far cheaper round. Who wants to spend good money on scum

      • Anonymous

        Nope, the Chinese use is very cost effective…they send the bill for the used ammo to the offenders family.

    • GPT

      Quintin Hogg – is impossible to tell through media reports but the criminality is massive and makes me wonder if rehabilitation is even an option.  The sad fact is that even if he is the perfect candidate to be rehabilitated the act is so heanous that deterrence and denounciation will have to take precedence.  My view, based entirely on media reports to not really worth that much, is that he could be look at a very long sentence.  And end point around half his life to date again.  I must re read R v AM but this is towards the top end of the levels discussed.

      • Quintin Hogg

        Rv AM?
        Reading that case it seems to me the sentencing judge would place the matter at the top end of band three, with a minimum parole period.  Possibly with a discount for an early plea.
        Personaly I don’t think rehabilitation is an option. 

      • GPT

        Yes just had a quick look and think you are probably right although anywhere in that band is pretty nasty as reflected by the starting point of 12-18 years.  R v Roberts is an example used in that case that has some parallels with a very young victim and injuries.  The “guilty plea” was at the earliest opportunity so would expect 25% discount on the starting point and he is playing the remorse cards so a further 8% there.  Whether there will be an MPI gven his age I expect will be in issue.

      • Quintin Hogg

        GPT,
        Applying the R v AM principles and taking the allowances you suggest I predict a sentence of 10-12 years.
        I think the court may impose an MPI simply to hammer the message home to the offender.

  • devlsadvocate

    Any way to get the full text of the judge’s actual statement? I’m smelling some inflammatory “journalism” here.

    Don’t get me wrong, judges here are soft as shit and less useful, but reading the article on his I feel like I’m being fed a line and I’d like to get some context.

    • Wilma

      That was my thought, too.  Maybe the judge said something like, “You look very smart … but you don’t fool me, you useless piece of shit”.  Wishful thinking perhaps, but it would be interesting to see where the tiny quote was plucked from.

  • Paulus

    Sad enditement of our judges. I would expect them to know better, but we know over the last 10 years or so the chosen quality of some of our judges is not good. The selection process has been ensumed.

    • GPT

      * indictment
      what does ensumed mean?
      What is following the law a sad indictment on our Judges?

      • Thorn

        If only the judges would stick to the law with a blindfold on, scales of justice in the one hand, and the sword in the other. 

  • maninblack

    unfortunatly the tax payer looses, along with the litte girl and family… keeping this creep in jail costs us a fortune.

    • Paul Rain

      The leader of the group which bombed the nightclubs in Bali got 15 years, reduced to 9 years. Seeing as we never do anything to help out our citizens over there when they get similar sentences for smuggling in a bit of weed- which is somewhat less serious than killing over two hundred people- Indonesian jails are clearly perfectly acceptable for New Zealand criminals. Public or private, our jails just aren’t cheap enough.

    • Steve and Monique

      you know what.I would rather waste my tax dollars keeping this piece of shit in jail,then pay for some useless bludger sucking the welfare lollipop.

  • Rockyr

    Here is another comment by a Legal Professor,”But clearly, what the judge was trying to do was to accept the mandate
    that young people appearing in court are to be treated as benevolently
    as possible”……….That really sums up the problem the Judge and the Lawyers and the Whanau try to make the offender as important as possible, the crime is of little relevance. The opposite should happen the villain should be shit scared going into court and remain shit scared until he gets what his crime deserves.

  • Brian Smaller

    @Paul Rain – some estimates put the number of black cowboys in the post-civil war west at 25% of total.

    • Paul Rain

      Even Wikipedia gives that number as the highest of a wide range.

      • GPT

        I wasn’t aware that the entire history of the US related to the so called Wild West.

      • Paul Rain

        This is true. On the other hand, the reality is that most lynchings were
        in response to actual crimes. There were certainly incidents which have
        been called lynchings that were conducted for reasons of racial
        prejudice- and those who committed them faced
        a serious risk of being lynched themselves.

        Unfortunately, there is no Ye Olde Crime Victim Survey, so there is no way of determining whether a large proportion of lynchings were conducted on the basis of racial prejudice.

  • Justin

    Spade the little shit

  • Honcho

    Signed, Shared on facebook.

    Hopefully it will make a difference, one can only hope.

    • t…

      thank you… 

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    For the life of me I cannot understand why this issue is being handles by the youth court.   The effcets on the family of the victim, and on the poor girl herself is in no way lessened by the fact that the offender happens to be of a certain age.   Given the seriousness of the crime committed, it appears to be to need to be dealt with by a higher authority capable of handing down the appropraite sentence.

    • Quintin Hogg

      The reason the prosecution is in the Youth Court is that court has jurisdiction as the offender is 16.

      It is a statutory jurisdiction which cannot simply be ignored. Petitions are simply a waste of time.

      The next hearing is a preliminary conference at which we are told through the media the offender will acknowledge his guilt. 

      If that happens the presiding Judge will either accept jurisdicition and the matter will be dealt with in the Youth Court (unlikely) or will more likely in my opinion decline jurisdiction and transfer the matter to the District Court for sentencing.

      You will see the dicussion on likely sentencing outcomes on previous comments on this thread.

      • Paul Rain

        I’m not sure the previous comment is asking why the prosecution is in the Youth Court rather than a more appropriate venue- rather, why we have such a system.

        The only vaguely sane thing about these proceedings is that he will likely end up in the District Court- followed by the fact that they started in the Youth Court, which is at least a kindergarteners version of a real court, unlike the pink fluffy Family Group Conferences.

      • EX Navy Greg

        As this is an offense punishable by more than two years imprisonment, can jurisdiction be given directly to the High Court ?

      • middleagedwhiteguy

        I do understand that the Youth Court has jurisidction based on the age of the offender.  But I also think that the offence in question here is not one that the youth court was established to deal with.    When a young person shoplifts, tags, “does a burg” or commits crime against property, I can see why a path of justice via the youth court might be desireable, but when the offence is of the nature of the Turangi case, I do not think that the youth court is the appropriate method of dealing with it.

        Ask yourself, if the girl in question had died as the result of this reprehensible attack, would the youth court system be appropriate.  If not, then the question of how youth are dealt with needs to be addressed.  Some of the issues that are being dealt with by the youth court are those it was not designed for.

        The offences carried out by young people are getting more and more serious.  16 year old alledged child rapists, 12 year old murderers.  The nature of the crime requires a more serious approach to justice.   Property Crimes, petty crime, sure.  These should be dealt with by a lower court.   But this serious crime should be dealt with by a higher authority, and the statutes should be changed to reflect this.

      • middleagedwhiteguy

        I do understand that the Youth Court has jurisidction based on the age of the offender.  But I also think that the offence in question here is not one that the youth court was established to deal with.    When a young person shoplifts, tags, “does a burg” or commits crime against property, I can see why a path of justice via the youth court might be desireable, but when the offence is of the nature of the Turangi case, I do not think that the youth court is the appropriate method of dealing with it.

        Ask yourself, if the girl in question had died as the result of this reprehensible attack, would the youth court system be appropriate.  If not, then the question of how youth are dealt with needs to be addressed.  Some of the issues that are being dealt with by the youth court are those it was not designed for.

        The offences carried out by young people are getting more and more serious.  16 year old alledged child rapists, 12 year old murderers.  The nature of the crime requires a more serious approach to justice.   Property Crimes, petty crime, sure.  These should be dealt with by a lower court.   But this serious crime should be dealt with by a higher authority, and the statutes should be changed to reflect this.

  • I hope that the accused changes his ways.

    But I imagine he is on first name terms with the local cops and the Judge. He is looking at a long stretch in the slammer. Unless he changes – which is possible we will probably hear from him again. I suppose that he will get a strike for this conviction. 

    The courts do not care about the petition, they care about the rule of law. Because otherwise we would have hanged a few innocent people, every contract would be worth the paper it was written on and we would slide down a slippery third world slope.

    In Nazi Germany this guy would have been taken away and never heard from again which of course would keep the lynch mobs happy- along with a large number of others who committed no crime and needed protective custody (not for them but for the state). 

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