The idiocy of bail laws, Alleged murderer kills while on bail and wants bail for new crime

Stephen Franks blogs about the case where the alleged murderer of a Waihi man, who was on bail at the time has applied for bail for this new crime.

The 18 year old charged with murdering Murray Wilkinson outside his Waihi caravan applied for bail again yesterday. Bail was denied but I’m told that his QC indicated he would try again.

The accused has name suppression so we can’t learn the truth about him but if today’s judges had half the common sense of previous generations’ such an application would be unthinkable. Our courts are pathetic about discouraging wasteful and abusive procedures.  But then they are handicapped by what should be shame, but is probably instead passive recognition that it could be years before the case is tried. They have to at least consider whether the presumption of innocence is compatible with holding an accused for so long. 

Senior judges could cut both the delays and these abuses overnight. But instead of taking the initiative they’d rather tacitly resist Parliament and complain about the Ministry’s attempts to bring justice costs under control.

Judges could at least make it clear that offenders who show their lack of remorse with stupid applications will have that insolence reflected in  the eventual sentence. Lawyers, whose  duty it is to make such applications whatever their personal view of them, could then explain that offensive procedures are only worth the risk for defendants who are confident of being acquitted.

Trouble is, seeking bail on a murder charge may not seem stupid to the offender, however outrageous it is. Bail and sentencing  law make it rational for bailed offenders to add to their offending. Parliament tinkered last year, and indefensible suppression law is Simon Power’s legacy.

Our bail laws and name suppression laws are a travesty. Thank fully there are lawyers like Stephen Franks who have the courage to voice just how outrageous they are.


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  • DavidW

    How doers this lowlife afford a QC this early in the piece?

    • blokeintakapuna

      courtesy of the hard working, over-taxed, tax contributor is how…

    • Graeme Edgeler

      The majority of criminal cases QCs do is on legal aid (paid at the same rates as everyone else). I imagine this person was assigned, or they asked.

  • blokeintakapuna

    Scum like this only deserve high-velocity, short-range “therapy for NZ Inc”… but since there’s too many yoghurt-weaving, crystal-spinning do gooders that would want to protect scum like this – but in a NIMBY kinda way – maybe we could out-source incarcerations to China or Turkey or somewhere really unpleasant.

    12 hour days, 7 days a week of hard physical labour, plain rice and water only for their entire sentence would soon sort their wanna-be-gansta attitude problems… and would probably also help the Christchurch rebuild finding willing labourer’s once they have a basis of comparison with just how good and cruisy we have it here in NZ.

    If we can’t hang, shoot or cull them from the gene pool – at least make them useful…

    • nasska

      I wouldn’t be too happy about living in a country where bail was impossible & just because the police arrested me I was deemed guilty. The judiciary should however, be a little more hesitant about granting bail when serious charges against an accused start piling up.

      The idea of making prisoners actually do some work appeals…..for many of our home grown crims it would be a new experience.

  • quirky_username

    Have I missed some important law change over the holidays? I thought NZ subscribed to “innocent until proven guilty”??
    He applied for bail, the Judge balanced the risks and he didn’t get it. Isn’t that what in previous articles you have said Judges should do??

    • He was on fucking bail for other crimes…his innocence has long ago been establish to be missing in action

  • peterwn

    There is an old maxim – ‘if you don’t ask,you don’t get’. There is no point in blaming the accused or his lawyer for asking for bail just in case some judge has a brain fart and grants it. What Parliament could usefully do is to allow the Police / Crown to appeal a bail decision with the accused remaining in custody in the meantime.

  • starboard

    too much fucking around…hang ’em from the nearest tree

    • nasska

      ….”hang ’em from the nearest tree”….

      Before or after a trial? Even the Chinese get a bit traditionalist on us here & go through the motions first.

      But on reflection, had your suggestion for fast track ‘justice’ been taken up earlier we would have been spared the interminable boredom of the Bain fiasco.

      • starboard

        Before…he’s a scumbag and I bet he has a record as long as my shlong…stretch his neck I say.

      • LabTested

        ” even Chinese go through the motions first”

        Well only sometimes. 2009 UN human rights report stated 190,000 inmates in Chinese “re-education through labour”camps. Economist magazine recently put this number at 160,000. Prisoners in these camps are committed without trial

  • Patrick

    He is innocent – I hear on the quiet that there were bloody sock prints left all over the park proving Robin Bain was the perpertrator. This fella should be feted in the media, have books & telly shows produced about his life & be given compensation.
    That is the way it works in NZ.

  • tarkwin

    I can’t believe the courts would consider giving bail to a person charged with a serious crime committed whilst already on bail. It would defy logic and probably make the Greens and social workers happy.