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Burrett's Court Abuse Should Not Go Unpunished

Burrett's Court Abuse Should Not Go Unpunished

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today applauded the seven-year sentence given to John Burrett for the attempted kidnap of `Mr X' Bill Trotter, but said it was likely that Burrett will only serve around four years, no fault of the judge.

"Justice Hammond should be congratulated for promptness, and for handing down the maximum sentence. Sadly, Burrett will not be adequately penalised for wasting the court's time," Mr Franks said.

"Unmeritorious appeals, abusive questioning and other behaviour that adds to victims' suffering should come at a price. Parole does not work and should be abolished. But, while we have it then, it should be used effectively - for his actions in court, Burrett should lose all right to parole. Unfortunately, a seven-year non-parole period would probably allow Burrett an effective appeal.

"Until we have truth in sentencing, judges should be allowed to punish those who make a mockery of the court process, by taking away parole. Burrett was sentenced to seven years, and he should serve seven years.

"Burrett's nephew, Matthew Payne, should be deported after serving his five-year sentence. If, as a New Zealand resident, Burrett cannot, it is time to ensure that residency doesn't allow non-citizens immunity to deportation," Mr Franks said.

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