Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Jules Mikus: A Murderer Who Lived Off the Taxpayer

Jules Mikus: A Murderer Who Lived Off the Taxpayer

Weekly Column by Dr Muriel Newman

Jules Mikus, found guilty of the murder of six-year-old Teresa Cormack, is in prison awaiting sentencing on November 1. As Teresa's family - and indeed the country - expresses relief that justice has finally been done in a case that shocked us all, disturbing details of the murderer's background are starting to emerge.

Jules Pierre Nicholas Mikus, transient and sickness beneficiary, has over 60 criminal convictions including child sex offending, assault, rape, murder, and multiple drug charges, burglary and theft. His sex offending convictions date back to the seventies. Since these crimes involved children, the predecessor of the Department of Child, Youth and Family - the Social Welfare Department formed after the 1972 merger of the Social Security Department and Child Welfare Division - was involved.

That is why it is difficult to understand how, in the mid-eighties, when Mikus once again came to the attention of the Police and the Department of Child, Youth and Family following allegations that he had sexually assaulted a child, more was not done to ensure that he had no further contact with children.

Child, Youth and Family have a statutory responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe. In this case, social workers were apparently aware that Mikus was a serial child sex offender, yet they allowed him to continue to care for and have access to children. As a result of my questions in the House, we know that at least five of the children in his care came to the attention of the Department in 1986, 1992, 1993, with two cases in 1994.

Yet in spite of a record of serious offending against children that should have sent out red alert warnings to all state agencies that this man was a danger to children, by 1998 Jules Mikus was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit and had been looking after his baby daughter since she was two days old. It transpired that both he and his partner were living together - each receiving the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Since they were fraudulently obtaining two benefits, Mikus's benefit was suspended later that year.

According to information I have received, in 1999 the family's four children - from three different fathers - were removed by the Department of Child, Youth and Family and taken into the care of family members. It has been alleged that some of those family members had gang connections.

When I stand back and take a dispassionate view of the life of Jules Mikus, who has had some 19 different partners and fathered at least 9 children, I have a sense of foreboding. I know what I am about to write will upset some people and I will hasten to put on record the fact that there are a majority of good people who use the benefit system in the way that it was intended: to provide a helping hand to a better life. Many of those people do a sterling job under difficult circumstances to keep their families together, to raise their children to succeed, and to seek long-term independence from the state.

But there are the people like Mr Mikus who has exploited the generosity of the taxpayer for most of his adult life, who has failed in his duty to take responsibility to support himself and those he partnered, and who indiscriminately fathered children that, as a sexual predator, he was incapable of caring for in the way that a father should.

The women who bore his children also need to take a long, hard look at themselves. Enough is known to suggest that they did not take responsibility for their own fertility, and that they used the benefit system as a way of life knowing that more children meant higher incomes.

Not only do I blame Mr Mikus for his exploitation of the benefit system, but also I condemn those governments which, recognising the potential for widespread and on-going abuse, have failed to tighten up the welfare system. What successive Ministers have done has effectively condemned the children of 'recidivist' beneficiaries to a future of limited opportunity by exposing them to risk factors that many find insurmountable.

There is now also clear evidence that long-term welfare dependency and crime go hand in hand: paying able-bodied men to do nothing, leaving them with time on their hands but not enough money in their pockets, is a recipe for disaster. By allowing welfare recidivism, governments put the lives of innocent people in our communities at risk.

In the mid-nineties, when the United States finally recognised the destructive influence of long-term welfare on the able-bodied, President Clinton introduced sweeping reforms. He replaced open-ended welfare entitlements with work test requirements and time limits. Those changes sent a clear signal that welfare was there for temporary support while people took responsibility for finding a job, earning a living and providing for their families. As a result, welfare rolls have more than halved, recidivist welfare is virtually a thing of the past, and outcomes for at-risk children have improved dramatically.

Sadly, no political party except ACT appears to have the stomach for this tough love approach. In fact, we are often condemned for holding the view that welfare reform would be good for New Zealand.

At the present time, the Labour government, supported by United, is going in exactly the opposite direction and entrenching welfare dependency even further. As a result more men like Mikus will live off the state, commit crime, indiscriminately father children and fail to take responsibility for their lives. Is this what we want for our future?

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Jami-Lee Ross Saga

In the end, the Jami-Lee Ross tweet about secretly taping his leader and promising to use it – assuming that such a tape exists, and wasn’t just being conjured out of thin air as a random threat – is a more serious offence than the original leak.

After all, even the PWC report hadn’t finally and definitively pointed the finger of blame at Ross, but had cited him merely as the most likely suspect. More>>

Press Conference Video: Jami-Lee Ross Plans By-Election, Police Complaint
National MP Jami-Lee Ross is to resign his seat and step down from the National Party, and will stand as an independent in any by-election for his Botany seat... Speaking to media at Parliament, he alleged Mr Bridges had broken electoral donation law and said he would put in an official police complaint. More>>


Fate Of Tahr Sealed: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>


Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>


Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>


PM's Press Conference: Fuel And Leaks

Other topics included the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the relation between the Government moves against high fuel prices and the commitment to act on climate change, NZTA's failures in compliance checks ... More>>


New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>


Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>


NZEI: Teacher Shortage Plan Falls Short

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Government's announcement of new initiatives to address the growing teacher shortage, but says teaching must become a sustainable career choice if there is to be a long-term solution… More>>





InfoPages News Channels