Call for police to drop charge against grieving father

April 23, 2011 ONE News

Police have been urged to drop a charge laid against a father whose three-year-old son drowned when the van he was in rolled into a lake. Ashish Macwan, 32, watched his only child die in a van which rolled backwards and plunged into Lake Dunston in Otago on Thursday. Macwan was travelling with his wife, son Aarush and family friends when they pulled into a lay-by near Cromwell. He got out of the car to stretch his legs and was turned away from the van when it rolled backwards into the lake, the NZ Herald reported. The adults and an 11-year-old managed to get out of the van but attempts to unbuckle the toddler were unsuccessful. …Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie said the charges should be dropped. He said the father had already suffered a life sentence with the death of his child. “There is a place for charges to be laid in similar circumstances, but when the outcome has been so tragic, it seems that the father has been punished enough,” McCoskrie said.

Alarm as grieving dad gets charged
Southland Times 25/04/2011
Would-be rescuer and Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper says he cannot understand why the devastated father of a boy killed in Lake Dunstan last week has been charged over the incident. …Family First New Zealand national director Bob McCoskrie said the timing of the charges lacked compassion and discretion. A crime had been committed but the purpose of charging someone was a punishment. However, Mr Macwan was already dealing with a “life sentence”, he said. “They certainly seemed quick to lay the charges … they should be far more sensitive to the tragic outcome. “Let him bury his son without having to appear in court in the same week.” The Southland Times website was busy yesterday with comments from people who believed the charges against Mr Macwan were “inappropriate and pointless”.
National Radio – The Panel