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ACC should not be intimidated

Pansy Wong MP
National Party ACC Spokeswoman

6 January 2008

ACC should not be intimidated

National Party ACC spokeswoman Pansy Wong believes fair-minded New Zealanders will resent having to pay for cosmetic surgery for a burglar whose ear was bitten by a police dog during an arrest.

Mrs Wong is referring to the case of 29-year-old Casey Voges, a serial burglar, who spent 12 years behind bars in Australia and New Zealand for burglary and drug use, and who is demanding cosmetic surgery while he is in Auckland Central Remand Prison.

"This procedure is estimated to cost around $20,000 and Casey Voges has conceded that it would be unfair for the taxpayer to have to foot the bill to repair his ear which was damaged in the course of a criminal act," says Mrs Wong.

"He is absolutely right. Taxpayers will find it very difficult to stomach the fact that their hard-earned money is going to cosmetically enhance a criminal's looks, because that is exactly what this procedure is being described by ACC as: cosmetic.

"He claims he is a victim and that victims have a right to be compensated, but I am certain society's true victims will find this claim repugnant.

"Casey Voges also says he wants to turn his life around and spend his time in prison bettering himself.

"Surely, part of that process will be accepting that he sustained his injury while committing a crime, and his threat to take legal action to force authorities to let him have the procedure in prison does not sound like the act of a remorseful criminal."

ENDS

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