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Why we need a sex-offender register

From quagmire to sex offender example of why we need a sex-offender register

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says the case of a sex-offender who plea-bargained his way to a reduced charge is an example of why a publicly available sex-offender register is necessary.

David Bruce Gore, 27, unemployed, of Foxton, was to begin a trial by jury yesterday on one count of unlawful sexual connection with a girl under 12.

But in the Palmerston North District Court, Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk amended the charge for "evidential reasons" to one of sexual contact with a girl under 12, which Gore admitted.

The teenage victim of the sexual predator wanted the man responsible to face trial, and claims she was given little say in the decision to downgrade his charge.

Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesman, Garth McVicar, said he was appalled that an adult male could sexually abuse a child and yet enter into negotiations with the Crown to effectively bargain his way to a discount.

“But the absolute travesty is that his victim, or her family, had no say and were not even consulted – and this in the new era of victims rights.”

“It appears some dirty dark secret back room deals have been done that has made plea bargaining an every day occurrence and victims’ rights have been forgotten in the rush to cut court costs and the prison population.”

Mr. McVicar said he found it alarming that in a serious case involving sexual abuse of a child that the offender was effectively given a discount.

“If this is the way of the future then surely the public – and the victims – deserved to be informed of the predators’ living in our communities.”

“We believe a publicly available on-line sex-offender register is the only way to achieve that.”

“It appears our Crown Prosecutors and our Courts can no longer be relied on to protect us from these predators.”



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