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Sentence for gang member woefully inadequate

Labour
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Most New Zealanders will regard a three months' periodic detention sentence imposed on a gang member for threatening grevious bodily harm as totally inadequate, says Labour justice spokesperson, Phil Goff.

"The sentence on gang member, Shaun Te Kahu, for intimidatory comments against the Lawton family in Invercargill does not appear to take account of the context of the offence.

"The Lawton family were driven out of town by the terrorist and intimidatory behaviour by the Mongrel Mob. Although Te Kahu's brother was jailed for the fire-bombing, on-going threats against the Lawton family forced them to abandon their home to ensure their own safety.

"On TV's 60 minutes programme, Shaun Te Kahu said New Zealand was not big enough for the family to escape the Mob. "We're just too big and too crazy and we've got evil minds."

"Intimidatory behaviour by gangs undermines the rule of law in society," said Phil Goff.
"New Zealanders have had a gutsful of thugs who intimidate victims and witnesses to achieve their ends and to pervert the course of justice.

"Shaun Te Kahu expressed no remorse for his threats to the Lawtons. I would have thought that this was an opportunity to send a clear and unequivocal message to gang members that this behaviour would not be tolerated and the full force of the law will be used against them.

"Te Kahu certainly won't take this message out of 3 month's periodic detention," Mr Goff said.


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