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Father victimised by new smacking law




Father victimised by new smacking law

11 April 2008. A Glen Innes father charged under the Government’s anti-smacking legislation has had charges against him dropped after police failed to offer evidence.

Family Party leader Richard Lewis says the case demonstrates the inherent dangers of the new law that removed parental protection in cases where discipline would normally be deemed reasonable and appropriate.

“This was clearly a case of police overreaction as the result of a seriously flawed law that treats all parents as criminals in their own home. Thankfully in this case the father has been vindicated, but not after significant state and criminal intervention in his life and that of his children,” says Mr Lewis.

The 30-year-old father was initially accused of hitting his five-year-old daughter with an open hand on the back of the head and swinging a pair of jeans at his six-year-old daughter, hitting her on the side of the head. He denied the allegations and when the matter came to trial yesterday, the police offered no evidence and the case was dismissed.

Outside the court, the man's lawyer said his client had pushed one of the girls to get her to hurry for school and threw the jeans at the other to get her attention.

“Based on the lawyer’s account of this incident, the father’s actions were probably consistent with the majority of New Zealand households. When Section 59 was repealed the Government gave an assurance that minor cases would not end up before the courts. Well clearly that is not the case. Many predicted decent loving parents would be dragged in front of the courts and that is exactly what has happened,” said Mr Lewis.

The Family Party stands strongly against child abuse but aims to reinstate Section 59 of the Crimes Act to afford parental protection in circumstances where discipline is reasonable.

Original story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4473820a11.html


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