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


Bail conditions must be reviewed before more innocents die

Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
From Blowin’ in the wind. Bob Dylan

The Sensible Sentencing Trust want to know how many deaths it will take before Bail conditions in New Zealand are reviewed and tightened?
A fatal crash caused by an unlicensed driver who was found to have traces of cannabis and alcohol in his system would not have happened if he had adhered to his probation conditions.

In the early hours of August 29, Charles Te Popoki Ngamotu was in New Plymouth driving a car carrying three passengers: 22-year-old Casey Wilson-Atutahi, a 17-year-old girl and a 16-year-old male. However, the 31-year-old was meant to be in Wellington where he had been bailed to an address with a curfew of 10pm to 6am.

Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) Public awareness and Education spokesperson Jock Jamieson says with the New Zealand road toll climbing ever higher it is time to make an example of those who flout the law causing the death of innocent people.
“In breach of his bail conditions, Ngamotu was in a different town. The learners licence he once had expired five years earlier and he was driving with traces of THC in his system. He crashed the speeding car killing one passenger and severely injuring two others. Ngamotus’ behaviour shattered the lives of one family and traumatised two others. The total harm he caused cannot be underestimated but our justice system doesn’t seem to care."

Ngamotu pleaded guilty to driving dangerously causing death, two counts of driving dangerously causing injury, and a breach of standard or special conditions set by Corrections.

Judge Stephen Harrop sentenced Ngamotu to two years and six months' jail and further disqualified him from driving for four years. He described the crash as a tragedy. Not only had it taken a life, changed the life of the two teen victims and affected many families, but Ngamotu was too a victim, he said. As a result of the crash, Ngamotu sustained a traumatic brain injury and fractured ribs. He continued to suffer nightmares and panic attacks. "On top of that you have suffered the consequence, which you will for the rest of your life, knowing what you have caused," he said. "The emotional harm that you've suffered as a result of being the driver responsible for this shouldn't be underestimated."

But Jock Jamieson says this sentence is not adequate, saying instead Ngamotu and many others like him should be held fully responsible and accountable for the harm they cause, or nothing will change.
“Excuses don’t count and when Judge Harrop declared that the offender was also a victim it’s was slap in the face for the affected families. Ngamotu had a choice, his victims did not. Ngamotu breached his bail conditions and killed someone for his reckless behaviour, there should have been at least a charge of manslaughter”

Jock says there is a major concern around bail and the follow up of those on bail conditions, and says an urgent review needs to be carried out as to how we can better monitor those on release conditions.

“We have seen too many incidents happen causing innocent victims’ grief and tragedy from those who are not adhering to their bail conditions. How are they going under the radar so often, do Corrections need more resources or is there simply a communication breakdown within our government agencies? Whatever it is we cannot ignore it is happening and we must hold those to account who choose to break their conditions!”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s, when complaints were commonly being levelled at RNZ’s Morning Report programme, largely by National MPs discomfited by being interviewed by Kim Hill.

The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>


Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.





InfoPages News Channels