Tagged: justice

Sex offender gets reprieve from sentence he should’ve faced 11 months ago

[Trigger warning:  sexual assault of a child]

That’d be the headline if Stuff had a single ounce of integrity.  Instead, they’ve published an article which boils down to “oh noes, the poor man is left uncertain of his fate for a whole seven days, look at his fee-fees.”

The fate of his victim isn’t mentioned until you’re sixteen paragraphs in.  But don’t worry, because in paragraph five, my new Official Scum member Judge Mark Perkins has already downplayed her trauma:

“There is an argument that the [psychological] effect on the child of the offending is a result not of the offending itself but the actual breakup of the family.”

Yeah.  The breakup of her family because she was sexually assaulted by her mother’s partner.  (It remains unclear to me if the victim is his biological daughter, signs point to no.)

You’ll remember the case from this post of September 2011.  That’s where Judge Philippa “I like a good laugh” Cunningham refused to impose a sentence on him because he’s such an inspiration, and it was so tragic the way that his sexual assault of a child may have affected his career.

Sexually assaulting a kid SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER.  And you should also face some kind of actual punishment, you know.  It’s not like any judge is going to let Mark Hotchin walk off just because “being publicly mocked by Hell Pizza is punishment enough.”

But no, after we’ve found one good judge (on ya, Judge Murray Gilbert) who can actually comprehend that

the consequences of a conviction did not outweigh the offending, … the judge did not take into account that the guilty plea meant the man had admitted he intended to carry out an indecent act on his daughter, and … the fact the man was drunk should not have been a factor in the original decision.

Now it’s back in the hands of someone who’s quite willing to think that maybe we should treat the obvious consequences of the offence as being the real problem.

There’s one chance for Judge Mark Perkins:  it’s entirely plausible that Stuff have lifted their quote out of context, that it was part of a wider discussion, that it was followed with the phrase “but that argument is, in the opinion of the court, utter cack.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see if some actual justice prevails.

Racism and corruption? In MY justice system?

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.

Two sentences:

  • Eight months’ prison
  • Six months’ community detention

Two offenders:

  • A former Black Power member
  • The young son of a senior, white, police officer

You may be surprised to find out how those dots are connected.

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.

Justice for Trayvon Martin

It’s a horrid cliche, if you’re on the right side of social justice:  young black man, unarmed, walking home from the store, murdered by a self-appointed white guy with a gun who cried “self-defence” and has not, thus far, been held to account for his actions.

Fuck that shit.  Sign the petition, if nothing else.  And don’t let this crap go unquestioned.

Sweet, sweet law&order smackdown from Kim Workman

David Fraser, author of newly released book, ‘Badlands NZ: A Land Fit for Criminals’, who describes himself as an ‘international law and order expert’, is unknown within the criminal justice community, says Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment.


“In an interview with the NZ Herald (14 June 2008) , he acknowledges sending the manuscript for his first book to 60 publishers before it was finally accepted by Book Guild Publishing in Surrey. After reading it, I understood why. His lectures and debates disregarded the contemporary academic literature, and were bereft of logic.”

What’s that you say?  A Nonsensical Sentencing Trust diehard who’s basically just a thug obsessed with harsh punishment of criminals (where “criminals” is carefully defined so as to not include white businessmen who kill brown teenagers) but has no actual evidence to back this up as a practical, effective method of reducing crime?

I am shocked, Mr Workman.  Shocked.

Recommended reading: men talking good shit edition

A trifecta of good stuff for you this evening.

Craig Ranapia on Greg “if everyone would just be good little proles then the cops wouldn’t have to beat you” O’Connor and Tiki “brown man with completely inexplicable dislike of agents of repressive state apparatus” Taane:

But the one thing O’Connor and his ilk can’t do – and even worse, don’t believe they have to seriously try – is back up their assertion that words and music they don’t like lead to real world crime.

Gordon Campbell on both legal aid/the anti-nanny-state Government’s strange nanny-state-esque behaviour:

So far, the Key government has reduced the right to a jury trial, extended the powers of search and surveillance by state agencies, restricted the rights against self incrimination, sought the ability to conduct trials in the absence of the accused, and ended the independence of the agency dispensing legal aid – and that’s even before we got to today’s changes.

As Scoop consistently argued, the dispute was always about getting Warners more money, and the union dispute was being used as a diversion to that end. Simultaneously, the climate of anti-union hysteria did no harm to the ability of the government to get its rewrite of some key elements in our industrial legislation framework through Parliament.

Rob Salmond on the Labour list what-about-the-menz whining (h/t NRT):

What the graphs show is that Labour’s caucus will look broadly similar to New Zealand, but will continue to moderately underrepresent women, Maori, and New Zealanders of Asian descent. The Rainbow community is either marginally overrepresented (by about one MP) or represented proportionally, depending on which population estimate you prefer. And Pasifika peoples are overrepresented in Labour’s caucus by 1-2 MPs.

A different, whiter, richer type of offender

Bruce Emery is to be released from prison after serving two years.

Which seems totally reasonable seeing as all he did was get a knife, chase down a teenager evil Satan-worshipping vandal, and stab him to death.

At least, the hang-’em-high-and-throw-away-the-key lobby thinks so.


Sensible Sentencing Trust head Garth McVicar – who usually backs the victims of crime – supported Emery’s early release.

He said Emery had to “pay a price for what he did” but the 52-year-old was a “different type of offender”.

“I didn’t think he should have gone to jail,” said Mr McVicar.

“That young offender [Pihema] had been doing graffiti before and Emery had been becoming extremely frustrated with it.

Extremely frustrated.

Let’s think about that for a minute, kiddies.

Garth McVicar –  who talks the big talk about victims living in fear and crimewaves crashing over the country in a suspiciously Polynesian-looking tsunami – sees no fucking problem with Bruce Emery walking the streets.

He takes no issue with letting a man, who cannot control his frustration, whose temper is on such a hair trigger that he stabbed a teen to death for tagging a fence, roam the streets of New Zealand.

Bruce Emery killed Pihema Cameron over a fucking fence.  He chased him down and killed him.  Over a fucking lick of paint.  And he has just been informed by our justice system and our biggest, most self-righteous crusader against crime, that what he did was not that bad.  That he was justified in killing a fifteen-year-old over a fucking tag.

Boy, I know I feel safer right now.

Karen Kissane can has transphobia, no can has journalistic integrity

Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, as I just have time to post before din-dins.

Let’s start with a headline, courtesy of The Age via stuff.co.nz, which basically screams “let’s get some gratuitous offensiveness on”:

Court allows girl, 17, to have breasts removed

It can’t get worse? The hell you say!

An Australian court has allowed a 17-year-old girl to have her breasts removed so she can be more like a boy.

Or as we say in HaveAFuckingBrainistan, “An Australian court has allowed a young transgender man to have surgery so his external appearance can reflect his internal reality.”

… Admittedly, that requires both having a brain and believing in this crazy notion that transgendered people exist.

It’s your usual “denial of transgendered person’s identity, constant and deliberate use of blatantly incorrect pronoun in the face of clear stated preference” tail, only this one has two little twists, one almost funny and the other fucking sick:

First, there’s the fact that Justice Diana Bryant, who made the decision to allow 17-year-old Alex to have the surgery, always uses the correct, male, pronoun … which, given the introduction has already identified Alex as a girl, leads to this:

Justice Bryant told The Age: “In the end, it wasn’t a particularly difficult issue because the only real issue was, ‘Would he (Alex) have it at 17 or once he’s 18?’ Then, he doesn’t need permission…

The “journalist” feels the need to explain that the he Justice Bryant refers to is the same Alex referred to in the headline as a girl.

I mean, most people might have taken the hint when the Chief Justice of the Family Court is using a particular set of words to describe a person.

But not Karen Kissane, senior writer at The Age. Nope, she goes straight for the fucking sick twist:

But ethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini said mainstream medicine did not recognise hormone treatments and surgery as treatment for gender dysphoria. He said it was a psychiatric disorder qualifying under American guidelines as a psychosis because “it’s a belief out of accordance with reality“.

Well, he’s an ethicist, he would know, right?

And if there were anything about this ethicist that might possibly put his comments in context, Karen Kissane would have mentioned it, right?

Like how they stick little “XYZ ABC is a commentator for the Suchandsuch Thinktank and has previously written on the effect of lint on suit jackets” disclaimers at the end of opinion pieces.

I mean, if you’re just going to call someone an ethicist and then report their words with no criticism or questioning, they’ve got to be, well, credible, right?

You wouldn’t, for example, expect them to be Associate Professors at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, right? It’s not like that screams I have a certain and telling doctrine underwriting my statements on gender and identity or anything. It’s not like that might affect how people read this article, and interpret this ethicist’s statements, and how they reflect on the life and identity of a 17-year-old boy.

Karen Kissane, I might have raised an eyebrow over your illiterate inability to get the pronouns right. I might have just screamed FUCK at my computer screen a few times over that pathetic excuse for a headline.

But when you describe Alex’s identity as “longing to be the opposite sex”, when you quote someone like Nick Toni-Filippini and feel apparently no need to point out that his comments are hardly objective, when you discard the serious efforts Justice Bryant has gone to to reach the best decision for Alex because you want to treat a young transman as a circus freak to get you headlines?

There is a special circle of Hell waiting for you, Karen.

Letters to The Age: letters@theage.com.au

ETA: More at Hoyden About Town and The Hand Mirror.

“Iconic” might not be the word you’re looking for

So, the Eskimo lollies issue, which apparently is a Symbol of the Loss of Identity And Culture Created By Globalisation, New Zealand Tradition Under Attack My God Won’t You Hypersensitive Brown People Just Shut Up It’s FUNNY Dammit.

First, a world to international readers: “Eskimos” are a “traditional” Kiwi lolly, pictured in the above-linked article. They taste like death. Their sales success is due to only two things: (1) everyone consumed a metric ton of them as children because they were a vital component of the fabled, long-lost One Dollar Lolly Bag, and (2) nostalgia makes people do STUPID SHIT like eat rubber-spongey candies that TASTE LIKE DEATH.*

I swear, even gargling all-sugar Coke doesn’t kill the VILE AFTERTASTE OF CHEMICAL FLAVOURINGS.

Of course, now we can add (3) this has somehow become spun into a watershed moment of Kiwi xenophobia I mean, maintaining our National Identity. This is fracking GALLIPOLI 2.0, PEOPLE.

But here’s what bothers me.

If Eskimo lollies are so iconic, so part of our heritage … what, pray tell, does that say about New Zealand and New Zealanders? If Eskimo lollies are representative of it?

And what the fuck does it say when the media are able to get this much of a beat-up out of a single person voicing the mildest objection to it? I mean, fuck, there’s the classic automatic “feeling personally attacked due to attack on something held dear” and then there’s HOLY MASSIVE OVERREACTION BATMAN. Over a fucking lolly. A nasty-tasting, crappily-molded lolly.

This crap ain’t iconic of any New Zealand I’m proud to live in.

*And watch 1980s Transformers reruns, and sing the Captain Planet theme song in public. Am I showing my age?

PS. Editing the Herald, I love ya, but seriously:

Or perhaps ‘Eskimo’ just really isn’t up there with World’s Worst Insults.

Please shut up, your privilege is showing.

In other news: Deborah and Julie at The Hand Mirror have already covered the greatest panic-inducing headline story of the year: Obesity Epidemic Causes Global Warming.

Feministe has good coverage of the Angie Zapata murder trial, with predictable headdesk-inducing bullshit from the defence well underway.