Herald and Labour are peas in a pod: Crim hugging ratbags

What do you do when you have someone with over 200 convictions?  Do you blame the crim, or do you blame the state?

Ministry of Justice figures paint a disturbing picture of Kiwis who spend their lives in and out of the court system, a system that experts say is failing.

The 20 people who have appeared before the courts the most times have been collectively sentenced 2562 times since 1980, but their offending is relatively low-level, raising questions about the effect of court sentences in curbing re-offending.

The man who was convicted 214 times is in his 70s, but was first convicted when he was 33, show figures obtained by the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act.

His most serious offence was a non-aggravated sexual assault.

The data revealed that all those in the top 20 were men. Seventeen were first convicted before they were 19 years old.

Lawyers and offender advocates said the high numbers raised serious questions about the effectiveness of criminal sentences.

Defence lawyer and former Crown prosecutor, Marc Corlett, said the numbers were “mind-blowing”.

“I have never seen numbers like this before,” he said. “It just goes to show that we are using criminal law as a solution to social problems like mental health and substance abuse, and it is an extremely blunt instrument.”

There is a very simple solution to this.  Don’t let him out.   He’s clearly a risk to himself and the community. 

Howard League Canterbury president Jolyon White said the figures were “quite horrifying” and current solutions to reducing re-offending were not working.

“There are no easy answers, we don’t think there is a magic bullet that one agency can do to correct this.”

He said the scope needed to be widened by building on current initiatives such as Special Circumstance Courts, which sentence drug offenders, the homeless, addicts and the mentally ill to treatment instead of jail.

“People who have spent most of their adult life in and out of Corrections will lack good connections on the outside. They are likely to have no family skills, social skills, education or work experience.

“These challenges are made worse by often a really unhelpful attitude when someone gets released from prison. If you want people to integrate well it’s those connections and skills that are going to be helpful.”

Auckland barrister Danielle Beston said that the use of special court and therapeutic justice was picking up, but it was not yet evident through statistics.

A Corrections spokesman said offenders with “significant” previous convictions were actually targeted as a higher priority for rehabilitation.

Hmmm…Jolyon White? Jolyon White? …Now where have I heard that name before? Oh that’s right he was the man who coordinated the Green party vandalism of more than 700 National billboards in the 2011 election. As fas I know he went unpunished for his vandalism. Now he is the go to person for the NZ Herald to talk about recidivism.

NZ Herald is happy to promote the idea that someone who has been a one person crime spree from age 33 to 70 is a failure of the system to fix him.  Giving a bunch of bleeding heart liberal lawyers a platform saying how bad that all is.  None of them will have been working for free for this one-man income source for the legal profession, I can assure you of that.

This guy was clearly incapable of change, and should have been put in protective custody.  But no, it’s everyone’s fault except the guy who would have ruined thousands of families lives.   Yeah, let’s feel bad about him, and blame ‘the system’.

On the other hand we can easily blame the ‘system’ because it is weak kneed and pathetic when it comes to dealing with recidivist offenders. So, in a way, the ‘system’ is to blame, and the liberal elites are responsible as well for focussing on hugs and cuddles for recidivists instead of thin gruel and hard labour. The ‘system’ didn’t let the criminal down, the ‘system’ let down his victims by not locking him up for a good long time.


– Morgan Tait, NZ Herald


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  • sheppy

    Totally agree, as ever its always the hard done by crim and never his hard done by victims who did nothing to deserve it.
    Sometimes people can’t be rehabilitated and need locking up to give the rest of society a break. Of course the crim huggers won’t agree until they have repeatedly been burgled or whatever else the crime of the day is.

  • Tiger

    These arguments from these crim-hugging liberal organisations all miss one glaring point: the 20 crims they are blaming the “system” for left 2562 + victims in their wake. Now if I were a political party, I’d have to understand that I need to get voted in by a majority. Clearly they have been the product of education system that registers teachers because they think 20 is more than 2562!

  • Rick H

    Surely – first jail sentence = “x” months
    second – x months x2
    third – x months x4
    fourth – x months x8

    double it every time. That way, nobody would be able to rack up that many convictions – and more importantly still, victims.

  • JC

    I did a word check on the article.. in 2562 crimes committed by these twenty people there was not one mention of the 2562 *victims* of the offenses!

    That is a huge indictment on the Herald and the spokespeople it quotes.. all that crime, all the losses, the hurt, the fear engended, the long term impact on the victims.. how heartless and uncomprehending can they be?


  • jimknowsall

    I wouldn’t go for three strikes and you’re out, but anyone who racks up a number of convictions even an order of magnitude less than quoted here really ought not to be seeing the light of day for a very, very long time.

  • Andinz

    Home detention with an ankle bracelet that blows up if (a) tampered with (b) person leaves the property.

    Oh … noooo!! I’ve been watching too much Sharia!!!

  • JEL51

    There is a need for some to come under special mental health care like that once available in Oakley, Sunnyside & Cherry Farm. I’m guessing these top offenders may fit in that category.

  • Chris Bell

    I am sick of hearing of the ‘system’ – there is no system, only personal responsibility for one’s own actions. The so-called ‘system’ is an excuse for people with no concept of justice and a ‘no-blame’ ethos to pass the buck – the buck stops with numero uno and noone else!!

  • Superman

    When an offender is allowed to rack up over 100 convictions then “the system” is criminal.

  • The deterrent effect of jail time is dubious. Particularly the short sentences given for “minor” crimes. However, the real purpose of imprisonment is to protect society by removing the perpetrator from it. This is why victimless crimes, such as smoking a joint, should not attract a custodial sentence and violent crimes should attract increasing ones. Three strikes should be extended ASAP.

  • cod

    The Howard league is wrong as usual, there is a magic bullet, its called a bullet. It’s just that we are civilized and don’t do that anymore.

  • andrewo

    Howard league: “There are no easy answers, we don’t think there is a magic bullet that one agency can do to correct this.”
    Ah, but there is a magic bullet… ;-)