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Victims’ Rights Bill Is A Big Disappointment

Victims’ Rights Bill Is A Big Disappointment

The Government’s Victims’ Rights Bill passed late last year has already claimed its first victim, says New Zealand First’s law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

“The light sentence imposed on a Wellington woman who partially-blinded a man makes an absolute mockery of the much lauded Victims’ Rights Bill,” said Mr Mark.

Jonathan Tolo was an innocent bystander who lost an eye after the woman hurled a glass across a Wellington bar. She was sentenced to community work and supervision.

“A term in jail would be almost inevitable for maiming someone, but when it came to the sentencing, Mr Tolo was disappointed to hear that his sight was worth just 250 hours’ community service. His opinion was irrelevant and he was not allowed to speak to the judge in court.

“When the Victims’ Rights Bill was passed in December, we warned it would not provide adequate compensation or reparation for victims and unfortunately we have been proved correct.

“It does nothing to ensure that victims’ feelings are represented and their opinions considered during sentencing. This case is the proof of that,” said Mr Mark.

“Rather than supporting victims, this cynical bill plays on the emotions of victims and has let them down. It represents yet another law and order failure for the Labour Government.”

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