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One Man Crime Wave Cannot Be Jailed

One Man Crime Wave Cannot Be Jailed

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today that he expects Phil Goff will again claim there is an "unintended loophole" in legislation that prevented a Christchurch Youth Court judge from sending a "one man crime wave" to jail.

"And again, Mr Goff will tell us that his officials are "working on it".

"But as with previous examples, this is not an "unintended loophole", it is exactly what Phil Goff intended when he created the Sentencing Act.

"Before the Sentencing Act, the 16-year-old could have been imprisoned for his admission to 50 charges of burglary and property destruction worth more than $27,000. These come on top of his previous 31 convictions. But Section 18 of Mr Goff's new Sentencing Act makes the criminal too young to imprison. Sentences of imprisonment cannot now be imposed on anybody under 17 for anything other than a purely indictable offence.

"It is little wonder that this criminal laughed when the judge lamented his inability to send him away. The Sentencing Act's politically correct provisions are a joke. ACT New Zealand opposed the legislation at every step. The new law teaches criminals that the law is a meaningless source of amusement that works against prosecutors and judges.

"Entry-level criminals are sent on their way with the belief that crime does pay. It's the worst possible message that youth justice can give. Pretending to increase sentences for serious crime is ineffective because offending patterns are laid down when people are young.

"We will see the goofy theorists in the Justice establishment claiming in five years that "tougher sentencing" doesn't work. Of course it won't if the young are taught that the police, judge and community are toothless.

"This is no "unintended loophole", it is exactly what Mr Goff designed," Mr Franks said.

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