Thursday, 11 November 2021

Violent, sexual offenders get early Christmas

“Labour is giving the worst criminals an early Christmas present by announcing they’ll get early release,” says ACT’s Justice Spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The Government will today confirm our worst offenders are more of a priority than victims with an announcement to repeal ACT’s Three Strikes legislation.

“New Zealand’s most violent criminals, who have repeatedly carried out crimes like murder, rape and serious assaults, will get softer sentences.

“For every offence carried out, there is a victim. Labour seems to have forgotten that.

“Three Strikes was an ACT idea introduced in 2010 to send a signal to violent offenders that New Zealanders won’t tolerate repeated violent and sexual offending.

“Just 18 people have been sentenced to a Third Strike. The total number of people sentenced to a first, second or third strike account for just one percent of the people sentenced in our courts. This is the worst of the worst. These offenders leave behind a long list of victims, some who will never fully recover from the trauma.

“The first offender to be sentenced under Three Strikes carried out a vicious assault where he repeatedly punched, kicked, and struck a victim with a piece of wood. That was strike one.

“After he was released from that sentence, he stalked and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl. That was strike two.

“Upon release, he stabbed someone in the leg. He would have received just two years and three months, but thanks to three strikes he was made to carry out the full sentence of seven years and our streets were safer because he was behind bars.

“In another case, the first strike was robbery. The offender approached a victim sitting in a parked car and demanded his car and phone. When he refused, he forcefully dragged the victim out of the car and onto the road, then drove off.

“Upon release, he carried out a similar offence, attacking a person after he refused to hand over money and their phone. His third strike was again similar, but when the victim refused to hand over money or their phone, they were thrown to the ground and had their head stomped on.

“The offender had 105 previous convictions. Thanks to Three Strikes he got the maximum of five years when he would have otherwise only got 18 months.

“These offenders are not petty thieves. They are the worst of the worst. New Zealanders will see these sentences as entirely reasonable and feel safer with these violent thugs off the streets.

“The Government is prioritising softer sentences for the most violent one percent of New Zealanders.

“As part of the next Government, ACT will push to reintroduce Three Strikes, because victims of violent crime deserve justice and New Zealanders deserve to be safe.”