Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Judgment: Kapa v R

[Full judgment: SC_114_2011__James_Kapa_v_R.pdf]

Supreme Court of New Zealand

20 December 2012



(SC 114/2011)

[2012 ] NZSC 119


This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at www.courtsofnz.govt.nz.

On 2 December 2007 James Kapa, the appellant, and Ronald van Wakeren burgled the National Army Museum at Waiouru and stole 96 gallantry medals worth over $5 million. Two members of the public, Lord Ashcroft and Mr Tom Sturgess, offered a substantial award of up to $300,000 for the return of these medals. The Commissioner of Police administered the award. Messrs Kapa and van Wakeren handed over the medals anonymously, through their lawyer, to the Commissioner. In return, Mr Kapa received $100,000 and Mr van Wakeren received $100,000. Messrs Kapa and van Wakeren were eventually arrested for and charged with burglary of the museum. Both pleaded guilty. Mr van Wakeren repaid his share of the reward but Mr Kapa did not. The District Court Judge imposed on Mr Kapa both a sentence of imprisonment and a sentence of reparation of $100,000, being the reward amount that Mr Kapa received. The issue for the Supreme Court was whether Lord Ashcroft and Mr Sturgess, as the reward donors, were persons for whose benefit a sentence of reparation could be made under s 32 of the Sentencing Act 2002.

The Supreme Court has held, by a majority comprising Elias CJ, McGrath, William Young and Chambers JJ, that the donors of the reward were not persons for whose benefit a sentence of reparation could be made. Only victims, as defined in s 4 of the Sentencing Act, can be the recipients of a sentence of reparation under s 32(1). Specifically, a person who is not himself or herself a victim cannot recover for loss or damage consequential on a victim’s loss of or damage to property under s 32(1)(c). Reward donors do not, by their payments, make themselves victims. The loss suffered by reward donors cannot be considered direct loss under s 32(1)(a) or consequential loss under s 32(1)(c). Nor can the Commissioner of Police recover reward money by way of a sentence of reparation. The costs he incurs are part of his investigative expenses. However, it may be possible to recover the reward amount from Mr Kapa under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

Glazebrook J dissents. She would have held that reward donors have suffered a direct loss under s 32(1)(a), if not consequential loss under s 32(1)(c).

In accordance with the views of the majority, the appeal is accordingly allowed and the sentence of reparation is quashed.

[Full judgment: SC_114_2011__James_Kapa_v_R.pdf]

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news