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Maori Party shocked at minor being sent to jail

MEDIA STATEMENT
Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Party MP for Waiariki
Sunday 19 December 2010

Maori Party shocked at minor being sent to jail

Maori Party MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell says he is shocked by a Rotorua judge’s decision to send a minor to prison for 12 months for breaching her bail conditions.

“The girl should have never cut off her home detention bracelet when she was given permission to leave her house, but surely the judge could have thought outside the box and given her a sentence more fitting of the bail breach,” Mr Flavell said.

“I do not accept his decision that he had “no other option” but to send her to jail for 12 months.

“I think it is really sad that we have gotten to a point where someone whose first crime was stealing a packet of sweets, worth less than $10, is now serving a sentence that is going to cost all of us almost $100,000, excluding court and legal costs.”

“In no way am I condoning crime on any scale, but if we are to turn the tide of this country’s skyrocketing prison population, and the hundreds of millions of dollars that it costs us, then we really need to start thinking laterally.”

Mr Flavell said this was the first time he went out of his way to criticise a judge’s sentence.

“My decision to criticise is not made lightly – many of my constituents have expressed to me their concerns about this case as well.”

Mr Flavell said it appeared the 17-year-old girl was never dealt with by the police youth aide section, which aims to turn around the lives of young offenders, as a result her being part of the robbery incident that saw the stealing of a bag of lollies.

ENDS

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