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Smacking conviction shows the law works

Chester Borrows
National Party MP

3 April 2007

Smacking conviction shows the law works

The conviction of a woman who beat her son with a wooden spoon, leaving circular welts on his arms and hands, shows Section 59 does not prevent convictions for domestic assault, says National MP Chester Borrows.

“The Prime Minister and others have consistently demanded that the law needs changing so that people who ‘bash and thrash’ their children can be successfully prosecuted.

“The conviction in Hastings District Court last week is an example of a mother who hit her son in an unreasonable way being prosecuted and held to account, so Helen Clark and Sue Bradford can rest assured that the law is working.”

The court was told the woman hit the boy on his palms and inside his arms with the spoon, leaving 4cm red welts, after she became angry that he was taking too long to get ready for tee-ball. Judge Tony Adeane said there was a real prospect of her being sent to prison.

Mr Borrows says a public statement from Crown prosecutors that they have not lost matters to Section 59 defences after several domestic discipline cases “strongly indicates that the law works”.

“Though my amendment seeks to further limit the circumstances in which Section 59 can be used, I agree with 85% of New Zealanders that the law works pretty well as it is.”


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