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Automatism: the new defence for drug-fuelled crime

Acquittal is a travesty of justice and a blow for law-abiding NZers









Media Release:

5th August 2008


Automatism: the new defence for drug-fuelled crime

A Palmerston North jury has acquitted a student who attacked a friend and Police Officer, on the grounds that he was not in control when the offence was committed, due to his prior consumption of Party Pills containing BZP.

Sensible Sentencing Spokesperson on Drug Issues, Christine Davey, is alarmed that this precedent leaves the way open for all those who commit crimes after voluntarily consuming mind-altering substances, to walk away unpunished.

Ms Davey says “This is a travesty of justice and a blow for law-abiding NZers - those who are the victims of crime committed by drug-users, and parents of drug-users who have to wait until their kids “hit the bottom” before they can receive help.

She says: “The “bottom” is now that much further away as a result of this decision, and abdication of personal responsibility is now being officially condoned.”

Ms Davey sees this as a giant step backwards in the war against illicit drug use in NZ.




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