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Fahey: Is he a threat to the community standards?

Marc My Words…
From Marc Alexander MP. 24th September 2003
United Future NZ-Christchurch Supplement

Fahey: Is he a threat to the community or community standards?

On 22 September, the Parole Board in its infinite wisdom decided to set former Deputy Mayor and convicted sex offender Morgan Fahey free, after serving just over half of his miserly six year sentence.

After three years and four months the sad and pathetic shadow of the status that Fahey enjoyed has long faded. While his parole is subject to standard and specific conditions which might include where he is to live and who he may associate with, the over-riding concern underpinning the Parole Board decision was whether Fahey constituted a threat to the public. They decided he did not.

But before we accept the Parole Board’s judgement as sound, let’s remind ourselves of the enormity of his crimes.

Originally charged with 13 offences against 11 women in the thirty-four year period between 1963 and 1997, he pleaded guilty, including the rape of a pregnant woman. What made his sex crimes all the more obscene was the privileged place of trust that he held in the community. He paid a price for his offences over and above his prison term, including losing his OBE, his City Council role, his luxury home and his right to practise medicine.

Nevertheless, whether Fahey could or would re-offend again is beside the point. The interests of the victims have not, in my opinion, been properly addressed. They will be victims for life. Fahey was in a position of absolute trust and abused it for over three decades. His sentence averages out to be just over three months per offence. Surely a joke of justice!!

Fahey’s wife Biddy is understood to be standing by her husband. While I can respect her fortitude in doing so, I cannot help but see her as a victim also. She was betrayed by her husband in one of the worst ways imaginable. That she can forgive him for the betrayal is her right, but it is not for her to forgive what he did to those other women. That is for them alone and I fully understand if they cannot. Because I cannot, and nor can the many others for whom his crimes are utterly contemptible.


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