Family First Slams Reduced Sentence for Beating Partner to Death

Family First NZ is slamming a decision by the Court of Appeal yesterday to reduce a sentence for manslaughter to a minimum non-parole period of four years, and says that the problem of domestic violence will continue as long as we have ‘pathetic’ sentences which serve no justice and send a confusing message as to our stand against violence.

“In this particular case, this man beat his partner and mother of his six children to death. There was a boot print on her abdomen and she had a fractured eye socket. The justices labeled it a ‘sustained violent attack’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Yet despite the gravity and violence of the attack, the loss of a mother to six children, and the desparate need for NZ to tackle our unacceptable rates of domestic violence and child abuse, our so-called ‘justice system’ means that this man will be up for parole in four years.”

“This is completely the wrong message – that if you kill your partner, it’s ok. In four years you’ll be free.”

“Unfortunately it has been consistent with previous cases which have horrified the NZ public – most notably the recent death of Ngatikaura Ngati, a defenceless 3 year old boy who for days was beaten with an aluminium baseball bat and oar. His entire body was covered in bruises and his blood was found in every inch of the house. Yet his mother and step-father will be up for parole in four years.”

As part of the 5-poin Action Plan formulated by Family First in response to our rates of child abuse and domestic violence ( www.stoptheabuse.org.nz ), one of the strategies is for sentencing to be substantially toughened to provide both a deterrent and a clear message of our community’s disgust with the actions of these people.

“It’s all very well to spend millions of dollars saying violence is never ok – but our actions (and justice system) must match our rhetoric,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS