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Goff supports Police action against Richard Hunia

9th August 2002

Goff supports Police action against Richard Hunia

The Police were absolutely right to warn the public of the dangers posed by Richard Clarence Hunia, says Justice Minister Phil Goff.

Hunia, who is reported to have committed suicide last night, was being sought by the police in response to the alleged assault and attempted sexual violation of a young Asian woman in Auckland.

“I find the allegations by Mr Tony Ellis, Richard Hunia’s lawyer against the police for ‘hounding’ Hunia and threat of legal action against them as bizarre and inappropriate.

“The Police alert against Hunia was absolutely the right thing to do. They would have been remiss in their duties not to sound a public warning about the potential danger posed by this man.

“Hunia had a 25-year history of offending. For his most recent conviction he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for sexual violation. He was considered such an ongoing risk to the safety of the community that the Parole Board made an order requiring him to serve his full sentence because it was thought that he would reoffend.

“Following his ultimate release last year, Hunia is alleged to have attacked sexually a young woman who he met after placing a personal advertisement in a Chinese-language newspaper.

“The Police had issued a warrant for his arrest following the complaint lodged with them.

“In the circumstances given Hunia’s history of offending and the fact he was placing advertisements to meet women, the Police were right to issue a public warning.

“It is bizarre that in this case Hunia is being made out as the victim by his lawyer when the real victims were those who Hunia was convicted of sexually violating and allegedly attempting to sexually violate.

“The key responsibility on the police is to protect the safety of the community and they behaved quite properly in issuing a public warning intended to ensure public safety in this case,” Mr Goff said.


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