Looking after their own

Herald on Sunday

It is often said that professional people look after their own and none more so than lawyers. In this recent case a woman who wants to be a lawyer has lied in a court, supplied false documents and wasted thousands and thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money and police time and yet she gets a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket because her offending if punished like everyone else might stop her being a lawyer.

A law graduate has avoided a prison term despite deliberately taking the wrong man for DNA testing to get her ex-partner’s name removed from her son’s birth certificate.

The 33-year-old woman, who now lives in Masterton, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court this week to three months’ community detention for preventing the course of justice. She has been granted permanent name suppression to protect her son’s identity.

Crown prosecutor Claire Robertson said a term of imprisonment was usually warranted for such a crime, but she did not think it was appropriate given mitigating factors, including her duty as a mother and the impact it would have on her becoming a lawyer.

Defence lawyer Owen Harold sought a discharge without conviction so she could become a barrister, obtain a private investigator’s licence and travel overseas.

That is outrageous…anyone else would be in the pokie by now…but study to be a lawyer…and the system looks after you. I’m not usre I’d want a lawyer who had lied in court and presented false documents.

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