Declined with regret
"Labour supports the intention of the Crimes [Home Invasion] Amendment Bill but will vote against it because the legislation is a nonsense and will not work," Labour Justice Spokesperson Phil Goff said today.
"I urge the Government, and the MPs it relies upon for a majority in the House, to instead support my Private Members' Bill which proposes a much simpler and less anomalous change to the law.
"My bill states that the court must regard it as a serious aggravating factor in determining the length of the sentence if the offender committed the crime in the victim's home or on the property in which the home is situated.
"This is similar to the advice offered to the Select Committee by Crown Prosecutor and Law Commission member Tim Brewer.
"It avoids the definitional problems and the bizarre anomalies created by the Government's approach.
"The man who murdered
Christopher Crean by shooting him therough the glass front
door of his home
would not, for example, have met the definition of a home invader in the Government's Bill. Neither would a rapist who chased his victim out of her home and raped her in the backyard or the garage rather than the house.
"Labour believes that MPs as legislators have a duty to ensure the laws they pass are effective and achieve what they set out to achieve - even in an election year," Mr Goff said.