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Wrong Message Sent To Offenders

Media Release
26 November 2004

Wrong Message Sent To Offenders

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark today called for a judge who wiped a Rotorua teenager’s $43,000 of unpaid fines to be removed from the bench.

The judge reportedly wiped the teen’s fines after he refused to pay, and instead gave a sentence of 300 hours community service.

“This chronic offender has no respect for the law, justice or the law-abiding people of New Zealand,” said Mr Mark.

“The judge commented that any greater length of community service would be setting up for failure.

“The truth of the matter is that this person will probably never complete the 300 hours anyway, given the lax conditions that govern community service compared to the old regime of periodic detention.

“Young people like this laugh at soft judges, soft laws and soft application of them. This teenager will now probably be boasting to his peers who will also be keen to get into the act of thumbing their noses at the law.

“This teenager should have been locked up,” said Mr Mark.

“The judge has sent the wrong message to every other New Zealander that it is OK not to pay fines.

“Decisions like this are a slap in the face for honest citizens and totally undermine the police,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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