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Call for Judges to Step up After Another Cowardly Attack

Call for Judges to Step up After Another Cowardly Unprovoked Attack

25th October 2016

“Vicious unprovoked attacks on innocent Kiwis are now a daily occurrence and must stop before more innocent people die needlessly at the hands of ruthless, out-of-control thugs.” ~ Scott Guthrie

Blenheim man Kent Morgan was minding his own business, walking home from work when he was singled out by two men because he was wearing a pink shirt. Morgan said the men began yelling out and called him a "pink-shirt-wearing homo". He ignored them and continued walking. They then jumped him from behind, restrained him and punched him in the face repeatedly.

"They started yelling at me for ignoring them, and the next thing I know I've been shoved to the ground from behind," said Mr Morgan. "I got up and one of the guy’s body-locked me from behind. The other just stands in front of me and starts taking pot shots to my head.” He was treated for a large cut to his left eye.

“This was a clear hate crime perpetrated by two men who have no respect for peoples’ freedom of expression, the sanctity of human life, or for the law. Kent Morgan is lucky; he’s still alive. Unprovoked violent assault is a vicious disease we need to eradicate. The judge’s message needs to be very clear: if you assault someone unlawfully for any reason, you will go to prison. ~ Scott Guthrie

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson Scott Guthrie says he struggles to understand why judges, who are supposed to be the gate keepers of society, are simply refusing to use the full extent of the law available to them. He makes reference to cases like August 2016 where a Timaru man beat his wife so badly it deafened her, but he was only sentenced to 130 hours of community work, or April 2016 where a Greymouth man was found guilty of assault with a weapon and assaulting police but was sentenced to only 15 months in prison and will be automatically released with no conditions after serving a contemptible seven and a half months.

“Our justice system is offender-friendly, with no message of deterrence. It is little wonder innocent people are injured every day, and some even dying. Our judges need to wake up and start using the law to help prevent thugs from inflicting harm on innocent people.”~ Scott Guthrie



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