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Questionable smacking case before the court





7 December 2007

Questionable smacking case before the court


The Family Party is raising concerns over the arrest and prosecution of a single father of four, who has been charged with assaulting his 11-year-old son under the new anti-smacking legislation.


The Nelson Mail reports the man ‘hit’ his son on the bottom with a wooden spoon for disobedience. He is also alleged to have ‘clipped’ the boy around the face. The boy later called the police and the father was arrested, handcuffed and put before the courts. He is now barred from associating with his son until he next appears before the court.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/4315830a11.html refers.

“Without knowing the full circumstances of this case it is difficult to comment on criminal liability, particularly with regards to the ‘clip around the face’ allegation. But for all we know, it could have been a clip around the ear, which many of us got at some stage growing up from a parent, school teacher or even the local constable. My concern is that we could have a decent father trying to raise four children on his own, who is now facing the full force of the justice system for administering discipline in his own home according to his Christian values,” says Mr Lewis.

Mr Lewis emphasised a cautious approach to the case without knowing the full circumstances but noted the fathers comment about only occasionally using the wooden spoon when his son's behaviour was particularly bad. Lewis also points out that the use of emotive words (in reporting) such as ‘hit’ don’t necessarily reflect the true circumstances of the case.

“There was quite possibly a better way to handle this situation without arresting a father of four and throwing him in the clanger! But that’s what repealing Section 59 was all about,” Mr Lewis added.


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