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Marc My Words

Marc My Words.

From Marc Alexander MP

The fifteenth passenger hijacked was justice!

Last Friday a Christchurch bus carrying fourteen passengers was hijacked by a youth with a fake firearm. The police finally stormed the bus, bringing the 80-minute ordeal to a halt.

A 17 year old was arrested and charged with carrying and presenting an imitation firearm and threatening to kill. Quite apart from the fear of those held captive, when we consider the cost of a dozen police cars and personnel chasing the bus and the costs of the ensuing legal proceedings, justice was also hijacked.

How is it that the accused youth was given bail? There has been an increase in attacks on bus drivers. This latest incident shows the need for justice to be seen to be done, and that was not so in the granting of bail.

Moreover, it is my opinion that not only should bail not have been given, but that the parents ought to have been hauled up to account as well. Had the gun been real, and had anyone been killed, the 17 year old would have been treated as an adult! The fact that it wasn't, and no harm was done, meant he'll be treated as a minor. Now tell me, how does that make sense?

Ratima should never be let out!

Raymond Ratima knifed and bludgeoned seven people to death in Masterton 11 years ago. He killed his 36-week pregnant sister in law, her brother and her partner, their child and his own three children. That works out at just over 1½ years per victim.

Given the severity of the crime 11 years is a pathetic sentence to serve. To be up so soon for the possibility of parole goes against public interest. Of course, the Parole Board has no choice but to hear the case, and for that they cannot be faulted. They have the option to turn down the application and defer the next hearing for up to three years (the longest deferral period possible).

If the Parole Board combine their collective commonsense to do that, then they would deliver a judgement in line with the public mood. There is no reason to suspect that Ratima has been punished sufficiently nor that he no longer poses a threat.

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