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Dangerous driver 1/2 sentencing sets bad precedent

Halving sentence of dangerous driver could set bad precedent

A "dangerous precedent" may have been set by the High Court in deciding to halve Ding Yan Zhao's two-year jail term in return for a substantial reparation payment by his family, says National's Police Spokesman and former Justice Minister Tony Ryall.

"Parliament does want a great use of reparation orders by the Courts. But it has never been Parliament's view that this should be a means of avoiding a prison sentence.

"Media are reporting the High Court as saying that the District Court failed to take into account the "significance" of the reparation.

"Once the full judgement is released, it will need to be carefully studied by lawmakers and the Ministry of Justice.

"It may be that the new Sentencing Act has failed victims yet again. If that is the case, then amendment will be needed. Alternatively, authorities may have to seek to appeal this decision further, as it may be setting a very dangerous precedent" said Mr Ryall.

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