Two cases [content note: domestic violence and kidnapping]:
- A man kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, stopping her from getting out of his car by grabbing her bracelet so hard it drew blood and biting her on the back as he drove off, grabbing her cellphone when the police called it and she told them where they were headed, being pursued by police at speeds of up to 170km/h, finally crashing into a gully.
- A man resented getting a written warning at work and threatened to kill his employer, and brought an airgun to the workplace.
- Eight months’ prison
- Six months’ community detention
- A former Black Power member
- The young son of a senior, white, police officer
That’s right, folks: be presumably the wrong colour and threaten someone verbally, into the slammer with you.
Be Daddy’s Little Officer and restrain a woman by biting her and driving at speed for over an hour before crashing into a paddock, and the judge will be “merciful”, because aw, da liddle pweshus made an early guilty plea. To a crime he was probably never going to be acquitted of because, um, hello?
But hey, now, I hear you cry, we’re talking about two different courts, two different judges. Hawera and Rotorua are completely different places, with different cultures and policing needs. Totally.
Oh, hang on a minute. The judge who was so merciful to the creepy controlling abusive son of a police officer Remorseful Boy just happens to be Judge Phillip Cooper.
Judge Phillip Cooper who previously jailed a man for two and a half years for assaulting his ex and sending her a huge number of threatening text messages.
Judge Phillip Cooper who, when sentencing the Turangi child rapist to 10 years in prison, had this to say:
“I want to make it clear you are responsible for your own actions. But your whanau and extended whanau are responsible for bringing up such a young man who could commit such an appalling and sickening crime.”
So Judge Phillip Connor clearly gets that some behaviour, even when it’s not out-and-out physical abuse, deserves a strong custodial sentence. And he really gets how an upbringing and society which encourages criminal behaviour can lead young men to do terrible things.
But suddenly, when it’s a Nice Young Man from a Good Police Family? Six months’ community detention. For kidnapping a woman, terrorising her, cutting off her communication, and fucking biting her on the back to stop her getting out of the car.
Because hey, that Nice Young Man pleaded guilty. Like a champ.
Fuck me, but I want to see Greg O’Connor spin this one.
And let’s save the best for last, because here’s his defence lawyer, Ian Farquhar’s, argument against home detention (because clearly prison was never going to be an option for a Top Cop’s Son):
If he was sentenced to home detention, it was likely he would become something of a “caged lion”, he said.
Oh my god. The poor baby. Sentenced to home detention. Without anyone even biting him or taking away his phone. Gods forbid.
New Zealand: where being a cop’s son means you never have to say sorry. And being brown means you go to prison.