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Govt ignores victims of crime

Govt ignores victims of crime

Nick Smith - Nelson MP

Nelson MP Nick Smith today attempted to get rights for victims of white-collar crimes included in the Victims Rights Bill being debated by Parliament under urgency, but the amendments were voted down by the Government.

“It is wrong that under the current law a victim of fraud is not entitled to be registered as a victim and therefore does not get a say during parole hearings nor be advised of a criminal’s release.”

Dr Smith highlighted the case of Nelson widow, Karen Boyd who was defrauded for over $400,000 by Chartered Accountant Kerry Francis. Mr Francis was convicted on 18 fraud, theft and forgery charges in January 2001. Mrs Boyd has been denied registration as a victim because the loss was financial rather than a personal injury.

“Fraudster Kerry Francis stole Mrs Boyd and her two children’s financial security for life. To argue that she cannot be registered as a victim is absurd and an insult. Parliament should amend the definition to ensure a person in her predicament is not further victimized by the justice system.”

Dr Smith today moved amendments to the definition of those entitled to be registered as victims to include persons suffering loss from fraud.

Dr Smith said he was angry and disappointed that the Labour and United Future parties voted against the amendment.

“I challenge Labour and United Future to explain to a victim like Mrs Francis why she should be denied the right to be heard at parole hearings and be notified of the criminals release.”

“I am bitterly disappointed that the Government continues to treat white collar criminals with kid gloves and deny their victims the same rights as others,” said Dr Smith.

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