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Father Charged for Smacking But Case Dismissed

MEDIA RELEASE

13 November 2008

Father Charged for Smacking But Case Dismissed

In the second case that they are aware of, Family First NZ is questioning why a Nelson father was charged for attempting to discipline his defiant and verbally aggressive child yet the case was dismissed just before the trial.

“This is further evidence that good parents who are simply trying to deal with unacceptable behaviour from their children are being dragged before the courts without any evidence to back up the charges,”says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “This is similar to a recent case of a Glen Innes father who was charged by police for pushing his five-year-old daughter to hurry her up and throwing a pair of jeans at his six-year-old daughter yet the case was also dismissed in court.”

In the Nelson case, the 11 year old boy had been stood down from school four times, had sworn at the principal, had to be physically restrained by two police during an incident at school, and had a special minder at school to keep him out of trouble.

Charges had arisen from two separate incidents – the first being the father had smacked the son’s bottom after being warned when he continually defied his father’s instructions, and the second incident where the father attempted to slap his face when the son threw a chair at him and called his dad a “f**’ing idiot.”

The police sergeant who attended the first incident was spat at by the son. No charges were laid because of the first incident, yet then were because of a second more minor incident.

“This case adds to our growing list of parents who are either being convicted, charged or investigated for attempting to correct their children in the most appropriate and effective way,” says Mr McCoskrie. “For some children, reasoning or ‘time out’ or loss of privileges doesn’t always have the desired effect.”

“Rather than destroying these families and criminalising the parents, it would be far more constructive for us to be putting in place more effective support services for both the children and the parents. There was no case to answer because the actions were reasonable in these circumstances.”

“And meanwhile, the Nia Glassie, Jyniah Te Awa, Tyla-Maree Flynn and Jhia Te Tua cases continue because we have failed to deal with the real causes of child abuse.”

ENDS

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