Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Compensation payment for David Dougherty


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

11 July 2001

Compensation payment for David Dougherty


Justice Minister Phil Goff announced today that Cabinet has accepted a recommendation that $868,728.80 be paid to David Dougherty as compensation for his conviction and more than three years imprisonment for a crime he did not commit.

"David Dougherty was convicted in 1993 for abduction and rape of an 11-year-old girl. He was subsequently acquitted on retrial in 1997 when it was found that DNA evidence left on the girl's clothing could not have come from Mr Dougherty but belonged to another man.

"Stuart Grieve QC was commissioned to assess Mr Dougherty's eligibility in accordance with the interim criteria established in 1997. Mr Grieve confirmed that Mr Dougherty was innocent of the charges and recommended that $868,728.80 should be paid to compensate for the losses and suffering incurred because of a wrongful conviction.

"The Government acknowledges the wrong done to Mr Dougherty and what he suffered as a consequence.

"Pecuniary losses were assessed by Mr Grieve as $168,728.80 in lost income and the legal and other costs incurred by his conviction.

"Non-pecuniary losses including loss of liberty, loss of reputation, loss or interruption of family and other personal relationships and mental and emotional harm were assessed at $700,000.

"Calculations of this sum took into account that no aspect of the investigations carried out by the Police and ESR could be regarded as aggravating or contributing to the wrongful conviction and detention of Mr Dougherty. The convictions were the result of the mistaken identification of Mr Dougherty by the complainant.

"The amount payable was also reduced to take account of Mr Dougherty's previous convictions and imprisonment in line with New Zealand case law on false imprisonment. It should be noted however that the offences for which he had previously been convicted were less serious and did not involve sexual or violent offending.
"We are fortunate in New Zealand that by and large we enjoy a criminal justice system which operates fairly and effectively.

"However, mistakes are possible in any system which relies on human judgement. When such mistakes are made and result in wrongful imprisonment, it is our responsibility as a society to acknowledge that wrong and to endeavour to set things right including by payment of fair compensation.

"I acknowledge and apologise to Mr Dougherty for the wrong done to him. Mr Dougherty was entirely innocent of the crime for which he was convicted and imprisoned. The payment made to him is a practical expression of society's obligation to make up for what he lost and what he has suffered.

"There is however, no simple answer as to how much compensation should be paid for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

"On one hand the impact on a persons life is traumatic and cannot be minimised. At the same time, it is important to remember that others adversely affected by the criminal justice system such as those acquitted of offences, and victims frequently receive no compensation at all. The additional guidelines which will apply in future aim to strike an appropriate balance and give some certainty about the amounts which will be awarded as compensation for wrongful conviction.

"Such payments will be in line with previous court decisions and are likely to be less generous than the two cases recently decided.

"Payment of the compensation will be conditional on this being in full settlement of any claims arising out of Mr Dougherty's wrongful conviction and imprisonment," Mr Goff said.

The Minister will publicly release Mr Grieve's report once the Ministry of Justice has made any deletions necessary due to privacy considerations. This process is expected to be completed by next week.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Covid-19: Govt Purchases Enough Pfizer Vaccines For Whole Country

The Government has guaranteed that every New Zealander will have access to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, after securing an additional 8.5 million doses, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“The Government has signed an advance purchase agreement for 8.5 million additional doses, enough to vaccinate 4.25 million people... More>>


 


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:


Maori Party: New National Executive

This morning the Māori Party confirmed their new National Executive including Che Wilson, Fallyn Flavell, John Tamihere and Kaiarahi Takirua: Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer... More>>

Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels