I know who is loopy and it isn’t the Sensible Sentencing Trust

Andrew Little has done a huge service for the Sensible Sentencing Trust in recent weeks.

His opposition to ‘three strikes’ has helped swell their coffers with increased donations and yesterday morning he decided to call them “loopy”. David ‘Anal’ Fisher, at the criminal-friendly NZ Herald, runs the shabby hit job: Quote:

The influence of the Sensible Sentencing Trust appears to be waning with a key member leaving and Justice Minister Andrew Little labelling leading figures as “loopy” and “callous”.

Scott Guthrie, a senior figure and spokesman for Sensible Sentencing Trust, told the Herald he had quit the trust believing it had achieved little that made New Zealand safer and that longer prison sentences were not the answer to crime and justice problems.

He has now set up the new Transforming Justice Foundation, saying rehabilitation and finding ways to help prisoners rejoin society without reoffending is the key to cutting crime.

Guthrie and the Foundation are set for a meeting with Minister of Justice Andrew Little in the next fortnight. In contrast, the Sensible Sentencing Trust had one meeting last year and hasn’t been seen in the Beehive since.

The Trust has previously held a pivotal role in crime and justice debates, pushing for longer sentences and more restrictive bail and parole conditions.

In an interview with the Herald, Little said he had not met the group this year.

I have a problem specifically with Garth McVicar who has a bit of a track record of what I think are some pretty loopy views“.


Most recently, there was McVicar offering police “congratulations” over the shooting of a young man which meant “one less to clog the prisons”.

It completely trivialised the position of police officers in that situation. I thought there’s something unhealthy about that set of views that I don’t think is helpful to a debate about criminal justice reform.”

Little also had concern about a comment on a blog by Sensible Sentencing Trust lawyer David Garrett, the former Act MP.

In the wake of the Herald reporting a spike in suicides in our crowded prison system, Garrett wrote: “No one with half a brain cares if the kind of people featured on this blog under the title ‘Meet a second striker’ commit suicide in jail… and neither would you, if you cared a fig for their victims.”

Little said: “The idea you just callously say it’s okay if they commit suicide – that’s not a set of values that I want to be anywhere the debate about reforming our criminal justice system.” End quote.

How ironic: Andrew Little complaining that someone trivialised a situation when he was doing that just the other day in parliament.

Also ironic that Andrew Little is calling Garth McVicar loopy when you consider this image posted on his Twitter account:


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.