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Victim relieved with Burrett sentence


12th April 2016

Most people can’t say, ‘I Know how you feel’ but Helena Watson can. Helena she was a victim of a paedophile from a very young age. Helena is now an advocate for the Sensible Sentencing Trust and sexual abuse spokesperson for the Trust. Helena has followed the Burrett case closely and was at his sentencing in Christchurch today.

Helena says today’s sentencing of the paedophile, Robert Burrett, achieved 2 major wins for victims, “Although, unfortunately, their journeys and sentence will last at least as long as his.”

The first win Helena says was publishing his name. “So he can no longer silence his victims.

Paedophiles choose vulnerable victims they can silence and rely on maintaining that silence.”

“A Paedophile will threaten whatever it takes to silence their victims, even murder.”

“The law in the past has allowed paedophiles to hide behind name suppression and / or change their names and continue offending.”

Helena said the SST would like to see the names of all convicted paedophiles listed on a publicly available sex-offender register and prohibit them from changing their name.”

“We know they can’t be ‘cured’ so need to ensure the safety and protection of children is the paramount consideration.”

“The second win was the length of his sentence. This is the most sensible sentence the victims could possibly hope for, and we must congratulate the judge on the decision.”

“The decision reflects that the judge truly has an understanding of the seriousness of the offending, and the ongoing risks this offender poses.”

“The World Health Organization says paedophilia is an incurable mental disorder and there is no known cure. While our ability to “manage” such offenders remains inadequate in New Zealand, the best solution, for now, is a lengthy prison sentence, to ensure they “cannot” hurt another child, when they inevitably relapse.”

Helena added, “This result is encouraging, and we hope this is an indication that our Justice System is finally listening to the victims, and the public.”


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