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Justice system failing to keep community safe

4th November 2019

A 90-year-old woman is in hospital in a serious but stable condition after being violently attacked by youths.

On Saturday afternoon, the elderly woman was ‘smashed, bashed and left for dead’ in what her family described as a violent home invasion.

Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokesperson Jess McVicar said she cannot fathom why so little is or has been done to prevent the horrendously violent crimes being committed by youth “Our Youth Justice system is apparently meant to be this amazing tool in youth crime prevention yet all we have seen is the level of violence increasing. This recent attack on a vulnerable elderly lady is beyond disgusting! There is no excuse for it in any way shape or form, but I am waiting for the excuse and blame to be placed on their frontal lobe not being fully developed therefore did not know the extent of their actions!”

Jess says they are heartbroken for the family and the Victim “No one should ever have to suffer like this, the poor victim was just being kind to these young people and this is how her trust and care was repaid.”

The trust believes many youth no longer have respect for the judicial system and know full well they will simply get a warning or have to attend a Family Group conference (FGC) if they offend. "Youth offenders such as these, know how to play the system so well and as long as they say sorry and look to be remorseful, they will be walking out onto the streets applauding themselves for getting away with it!!"

“The manner in which our Youth Justice system currently operates, means this attack is just as likely not to be considered as a serious offence and will remain in the Youth Court, rather than be heard in the High Court. So, the Victim or her family will, if they choose to, sit in front of these girls and listen to excuses as to why they committed such a senseless and brutal crime.”

Jess says the trust believe the Youth Justice system need to lower the threshold for what is considered a serious crime in the youth justice system and introduce a system where they are held accountable.

“Murder and Manslaughter are referred to the High Court, but other serious violent crimes are most likely to be dealt with in the Youth Court and referred to Family Group Conference. It’s absolutely frightening what crimes are constantly being ‘suppressed’ under the Youth Court umbrella.”

“This was not just a random attack of serious violence; these girls knocked on the victim’s door with a plan of what they wanted to accomplish. Crimes such as this are why we need to introduce military style camps into the Youth Justice system. These girls need to be taught what we call the A, B, C, D's - Accountability, Boundaries, Consequences and Discipline.”

Jess says the New Zealand Youth Justice system as it currently operates is a breeding ground for violent criminals and it is time New Zealand Youth Justice System has a major rethink and overhaul by actually ensuring these young offenders are held to account. "Their actions are simply not acceptable in our society!"

“New Zealanders have a right to be safe in their own homes, we rely on the Justice system to make decisions to keep us safe, but many like us no longer have faith in the system to do that!”



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