Basil Steven Marshall Mist v the Queen
Supreme Court of New Zealand
1 December 2005
MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
BASIL STEVEN MARSHALL MIST v THE QUEEN
This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment.
The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at Judicial Decisions of Public Interest www.courts.govt.nz/judgments.
The Supreme Court has allowed this appeal by Mr Mist against a sentence of preventive detention. The appellant was sentenced to a finite term of 16 years’ imprisonment in the High Court for a number of serious offences.
The Crown had sought a sentence of preventive detention but the High Court Judge ruled that that sentence was not available because Mr Mist had not reached the qualifying age (then 21 years) at the time he offended. The Crown appealed to the Court of Appeal which held that it was sufficient if the qualifying age had been reached, as it had, by the time Mr Mist was sentenced. That Court, being of the view that preventive detention both could and should have been imposed, substituted that sentence accordingly.
The Supreme Court has held that Mr Mist was not eligible for a sentence of preventive detention. In order to be eligible for such a sentence, the offender must have attained the qualifying age at the time of offending which Mr Mist had not. His appeal has therefore been allowed and the matter remitted to the Court of Appeal for that Court to consider the Crown’s alternative contention that, if preventive detention was not available, 16 years was too short a total sentence for Mr Mist’s offending.