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Uproar Over Privledged Name Supression & Sentence

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Uproar Over Privledged Name Supression & Sentence

The name suppression and sentence of a prominent Manawatu businessman who downloaded more than 300,000 pornographic images, many of naked young girls in sexualised positions, has sparked an uproar from New Zealanders and added to the growing concern over judges giving name suppression to protect a criminal's social and professional standing.

A four-month home detention sentence accompanied by comments from the judge that the man's social position and professional achievements were factors in the sentencing and permanent name suppression have angered and shocked many.

Garth McVicar, spokesman for the Sensible Sentencing Trust, has been inundated with outraged inquiries from members of the public asking what can be done about the name suppression and why the offender received special treatment because of his profile in the community and his job, which has also been kept private.

"If someone chooses to commit a crime and is caught, then their job, social standing and any consequent fall from grace should be irrelevant. Our judges are protecting the privileged and giving them special treatment and it is totally undermining public confidence in the justice system," said Mr McVicar.

In a bid to highlight the impact of such biased sentencing and identity protection, Mr McVicar was releasing one of the messages he had received from a member of the public who had trusted the man and believed others deserved to know about his behaviour and the risk he posed to the community:

"This sentence was made against a person with whom I entrusted my healthI am in shock at this sentence and find it offensive that the judge seems to be more sympathetic to the offender and his loss more than he is the victim. This judge is also a judge for the family court and makes decisions regarding safety and care of children also".

Mr McVicar said the decision was another example of a liberal-leaning judge putting the criminal ahead of the victims and community safety and protecting the upper echelons of society, who should know better.

"Judges are appointed to protect the public from predatory and criminal behaviour, not to protect the dignity and reputation of well-heeled businessmen. How far a person falls from grace as a result of their crimes should not matter. If a person does the crime they should do the time and not get special treatment.

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