Sunday Star-Times – friend of the crims

Some free advice for the Sunday Star Times.

If you want to stop losing readers at an alarming rate, quit writing stories which are sympathetic to hardened criminals, while at the same time avoiding any discussion about the victims of their crimes.

In the latest example we hear lots about the crim’s life being ruined, but not a thing about the misery she caused.

A violent criminal has had her 15-year jail sentence reduced by three years after judges deemed she was too young for such harsh punishment.

But Amy Jayne Opetaia’s 12-year sentence means she could still spend more time behind bars than many killers and the country’s worst fraudsters.

Opetaia was 19 at the time of her Bonnie-and-Clyde style crime spree with then boyfriend Quentin Tinau Stephens. The pair’s drug-fuelled crimes included burglary, kidnapping and a series of violent street robberies. 

And we are supposed to feel concern for her???

The Sunday Star-Times just couldn’t be more out of touch with New Zealanders if it tried.

Here’s a reminder of the crimes caused by this nasty piece of work:

During the peak of their offending, Stephens robbed a man and threatened him with a hammer, while Opetaia robbed his wife of her wedding rings and punched her in the face.

On the same day, the pair kidnapped a man as he entered his apartment block on Queen St. Stephens, bare-chested and still armed with the hammer, forced him into the car Opetaia was driving, then made him give them money from an ATM.

Just minutes later the couple tried robbing a man of his iPod as he sat outside a Pt Chevalier cafe. Customers and staff who tried to intervene were punched to the ground and kicked where they lay.

After giving Stephens an open-ended jail term, Justice Patricia Courtney sentenced Opetaia – who had 19 previous convictions since 2008 – to five years jail. At the same time she was given a further four years for a separate home invasion.

Soon after, Opetaia was sentenced by Justice Charles Blackie for a series of similar crimes committed before her spree with Stephens – involving luring men to hotels and homes by text so her male accomplices could rob them. For those crimes, of aggravated robbery and assault, Opetaia was given an extra six years in jail, to be served cumulatively – meaning a sentence of 15 years.

Extra advice for SST. Calling it a “Bonnie-and-Clyde style crime spree” and trying to make them somehow glamorous, is an absolute disgrace and shows complete disregard for victims.

The good news is Justice Blackie saw fit to see through their rubbish and locked them up for a good long stretch, it was only some weaker judges in the Appeal Court that have reduced her sentence. I imagine Judge Blackie take a dim view of vexatious litigants too.

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