IN THIS ISSUE: What does SST mean to You? | Child Abuse Sky-Rockets A Huge shift for the Future | NZ Courts - A Travesty | Frivolous Court Appeals | Our Tribute to Sir Russell Pettigrew | Thug avoids Jail | SST on the road
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MAY 2015

What does SST mean to YOU?

By Garth McVicar
Someone once said it is not a matter of how LONG you have lived – but how you have LIVED!

For me life has been an amazing journey, and the last 14 years since starting SST has been the most incredible, learning, humbling and rewarding experience anyone could wish for.

To be able to expose and challenge the liberal lunacy that has caused so much hurt, heartache and grief in this country was one thing, but to then be able to capitalise on what we learnt and gradually change, has been overwhelming and fulfilling.

Before SST most New Zealanders were scared to question the politically correct pervasive liberal lunatics knowing full-well they would turn their wrath on you in an attempt to discredit and eliminate any and all opposition.

Their hatred – their venom and vengeance knew no bounds, their mission was simply to seek and destroy at all costs! The overwhelming evidence – the truth – was irrelevant and did not matter one iota to them!
But I was brought up to believe that common sense and truth would prevail and to me that is what SST has always been about – common sense and truth.

SST focussed on the bad guys, on locking up the criminals that had proved by their actions they had no respect for the rules most of us lived by and that were prepared to hurt others.

The three Strikes legislation and many other SST driven initiatives have caused a complete rethink of what actually works. A more recent move to put victims at the heart of the justice system will ensure that momentum continues.

For me, SST means creating an environment where our kids have the freedom to play and walk in the park, walk to school, to the shop. Where members of our community are safe on the streets and can live and sleep in their homes without fear of some random gratuitous attack.

In short, a safe family friendly atmosphere. The liberal lunatics destroyed all that but they haven’t finished yet; given a free rein they will destroy the only institution I know that works, that has stood the test of time: FAMILY! A mother and a father, raising children in a loving friendly, safe, violence free home.

A civilised society will not remain civilised for long if its basics are not built on solid foundations, and nothing is more rock solid than a good traditional family. If we want a safe country it all starts at home.

So while we will not be taking our foot off Justice Reform and Victim Rights, we will be spreading our wings to encapsulate and challenge why New Zealand has such an appallingly high level of sexual abuse of our most vulnerable – our children. And why current legislation is underwriting this despicable behaviour by granting name suppression to the perpetrators.

Paedophiles are the lowest form of humanity there can be, by their very actions they destroy not only the child, their victims life, but they also in many cases damage beyond repair the ability of that family to live anything that resembles a normal healthy, happy existence.

Our paedophile campaign is well advanced and will be launched in the not too distant future – it will not be cheap and we will very much need and appreciate your support.   

You can contact Garth at

Our Victim Advisors

Leigh Woodman is our National Victim advisor. Leigh can be reached by mobile: 027 561 2119 or
Jayne Walker is our South Island Victim Adviser. Jayne can be reached by mobile: 021 881 623 or

It was a long time coming but it’s very exciting to announce that Sensible Sentencing Group Trust has its Charitable Status back.

It has been 4 years with a huge amount of re-structuring with many people involved. We would like to thank all the contributors for making this possible along with the Charities Commission.

This will make a huge difference in funding the Victim side of Sensible Sentencing.  

My Paedophile Father 
By Nicki Hide (Kane)

My Father was convicted of sexually abusing his Granddaughter (my Niece) on 10 June 2013. He was deported to New Zealand on 3 April 2015 after serving ½ of his prison sentence.  

As an Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Assault, I could not have lived with myself knowing my paedophile father was being deported to NZ WITH NO PAROLE OR MONITORING and knowing 100% that he will RE-OFFEND and not do anything about it! I have been overwhelmed by messages of support, (mostly from strangers who are also victims) wanting to thank me for my courage and bravery in warning New Zealanders about my father.

Personally, I don’t feel it is brave or even courageous, it is simply what I felt was the right thing to do! The unforgivable trauma and ongoing nightmare my father has CHOSEN to inflict on his once loving family and especially his adored Granddaughter is something I would not ‘wish’ on my worst enemy.  I will continue trying to prevent other children and families having their precious lives, trust and innocence obliterated by him.

Heartfelt thanks to SST for everything you are doing to bring awareness to this horrendous issue and putting pressure on the NZ Government to stop ‘talking about it’ and just do it!!!

These laws should have already been URGENTLY changed – it’s absolutely unbelievable – when this issue is the most important topic in the world, PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE and the Governments are still stuffing around with it  DISGRACEFUL – THEY SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!

Thankfully, there are real human beings like you Garth and the SST team – my family and I will be forever grateful for the hard work you all dedicate to your essential work .Your website is a vital tool for warning communities and providing protection for children and their families! 

Another Win for SST - Ability to Impose 5 Year Parole Postponement

Anyone who has become a victim of serious violent crime would be able to tell you of the agonizing journey they have then become subjected to through NZ’s justice system. There are the court appearances, call-overs, the trial, the appeals in some cases going to the Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court. Before you know it, you are headed to parole hearings to look at the possible release of the offender or offenders!

The parole hearings can be held once or more a year depending on what stage they are at, and in cases where there are multiple offenders involved, it compounds as there are so many more hearings involved. For most people it is debilitating, stressful, traumatising and revictimising. Up until recently the Parole Board had the ability to impose a postponement order of three years maximum for those offenders they considered were a long way from being ready for release for whatever reason i.e. whether it was because the Parole Board considered the offender was still too high a risk to the community, or they considered the offender required further counselling or needed to do specific programmes.  To do this first they needed to warn the offender, then at the following hearing they could impose the postponement order if it was deemed appropiate.  

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has been lobbying for postponement orders to be pushed out for some time, and recently a law now allowing the Parole Board to impose a 5 year postponement order came into effect. While we are pleased with this, the Sensible Sentencing Trust has always believed there should be no parole for any violent offenders and that the offender should serve his Judge given sentence, then once completed, strict conditions should be imposed on their release.

It is now in the hands of the Parole Board to start imposing the 5 year postponement orders to ensure the offender/s are no longer a risk to society as is their mandate, and to provide some surcease for the victims. Leigh
Child Abuse Sky-Rockets  
Between 2008 and 2013, recorded offences of violence, sexual assaults and neglect of children rose 68%. Over the same five years to 30 June 2013, more serious child assaults have increased by 83%

The graph below needs no further explanation...

We say Name Suppressions Sanctions Paedophillia

It has been well known for some time that paedophiles are hiding behind their victims to get name suppression. Some victims do not want their name suppressed; SST has been very vocal on this and intends to continue with this fight.

New Zealand First recently tried to introduce a Bill into parliament to remove the right of a paedophile to name suppression where the victim doesn’t want their name suppressed. Unfortunately at this stage many National M.P’s are objecting to the Bill being introduced.

This is really disappointing; it seems the government is content to allow paedophiles to hide behind a cloak of secrecy. We totally support New Zealand First and their stance on this Bill and will support them where we can.

Congratulations New Zealand First

Congratulations Otago Faculty of Law - A Win for Victims

Victims are often forgotten in law courses, where the focus is primarily on the law rather than the impact on those who are most affected. I am very proud to say that here at the Otago Faculty of Law there are a range of courses where the victim’s point of view is strongly taught.

In the first year course of Legal System, we look at how the criminal justice system works, with a particular emphasis on the role of the defence lawyer. We look at a range of cases where the impact on the victim is considered so that the students can see the sad reality of criminal acts.

In the Family Law course, we spend a great deal of time looking at the impact of victims of violence in the home. Over half of the murders in this country take place, sadly, within personal relationships. We hear the voices of victims through video presentations and also through telling their stories via research on the impact that violence has on the lives of victims. We incorporate work from the Women’s Refuge who have a great deal of experience on what it is like to be a victim of violence in the home. This is a major part of the course, as we want students to be well prepared to act compassionately and humanely on behalf of victims and their families.

Our Criminal Justice course looks critically at the Criminal justice system and has components in it where the stories and lives of victims are highlighted. In our ‘Evidence’ course, which runs for the whole year, the issue of vulnerable witnesses and the issue of how the system can better operate to accommodate their testimony is discussed in detail. We have excellent honours’ dissertations on how best to support vulnerable witnesses particularly those who have been the victims of brutal crimes and/or sexual violations.

We also have a group of students who voluntarily work to change the legal system to make it more effective for those who become involved in it. The ‘Law for Change’ group makes submissions to parliament on issues such as vulnerable witnesses, witnesses with intellectual disability and witneses who have experienced horrendous crime.

It is important that the next generation of students continually work to improve the system. I have great confidence in the ‘Law for Change’ group. They are passionate and determined in their work to make sure the system does not continue to harm those who are vulnerable and who have become involved in it through no choice of their own.

By Professor Mark Henaghan, Dean of Law, University of Otago

A Huge Shift for the Future

What Professor Henaghan has achieved at Otago University is a huge shift in thinking; acknowledging the profound effect of being the victim of all forms of serious violent crime including domestic violence.  
Leigh WoodmanAs Professor Henaghan stated, over half the murders in NZ take place within personal relationships and the ensuing impact for the victims when they become enmeshed within a legal system that has to date had little or no care for the victims or their families. Their reasoning being that the state or the Crown takes over from the family, and this is unimaginably cruel and inhumane, causing further trauma to already deeply distressed and agonised families and friends.

The teachings and content of the courses provided by Professor Henaghan give hope that finally the care and rights of victims will be put where they should be should be; firmly at the centre of the Criminal Justice System.

We hope it will raise a new wave of lawyers coming out of Otago University who will not only be well trained, but will hopefully become lawyers with far more compassion and a deeper understanding of the victims and vulnerable witnesses; therefore changing the attitude and behaviour within the legal profession.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust would like to extend our sincere thanks to Professor Henaghan and the ‘Law for Change’ group of students for their passion, dedication and contribution to focussing on changes to basic thinking, showing respect and care to victims.

Professor Henaghan and Otago University have lead the charge for change, and we would like to challenge all other Universities with a Law faculty in New Zealand to do the same. Leigh

New Zealand’s Courts - A Travesty

My wife and I retired to Hawke’s Bay approx. 4 years ago. Prior to retirement I was employed by the Ministry of Justice in the Canterbury area as a Collections Officer/Bailiff with Deputy Registrar duties. Many reforms later I was employed as a Bailiff only.

After this New Year, we travelled around the South Island in our caravan, and along the way I visited the main Courthouse where I had been based, and to my surprise when I asked where the staff were I was told most had been made redundant along with the 2 Bailiffs who patrolled 2 provinces and also helped out in Christchurch when required. I was also told there is literally no enforcement for fines defaulters now.

We used to seize offenders vehicles, or other possessions for unpaid fines, under the Summary Proceedings Act 1957, (an act the Labour party were trying to do away with), however if I thought the Labour Party were soft on crime, I was brought back to earth after viewing the Fair Go programme on March 25th this year and seeing first hand what the National party have done to the Courts system.
Apart from fines defaulters, it will be very difficult to have Civil Debt collected, or Family documents served, due to the distances the few remaining Bailiffs will have to travel, (being several hundred kilometres). Victims now also have to pay at least $200 for a Bailiff to try to track down the offender.

All in all, what this Government has done to Law and Order is despicable and makes a mockery of National’s pledge to be “hard” on criminals. I also know of a local who was subject to one of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest burglaries, he has been waiting for nearly a year to have the case heard in Court as the defendants Legal aid lawyer seems to be able to postpone the trial at his will.   

Is this the Justice System we have to put up with in the 21st century?

Written by Bruce Morton, Retired Court Collections Officer/Bailiff
Jock looks after SST’s Public Awareness and Education portfolioI attended a murder trial in April this year. It involved two young men conning the life savings from a fine young man, well brought up, bright, well liked and perhaps lacking some life experience which made him a target for the unscrupulous ratbags who took his money, then killed him in the cruellest way imaginable.
What I witnessed from the defence lawyers demonstrated how low they were prepared to go to get their ‘clients’ off.

The saying, “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story”, proved to be the case!

I really hoped the anecdotal stories I had heard about lawyers would be proved wrong and justice would be the winner. A major disappointment.

It became clear early on that the defence had very little to go on, the evidence against their clients was overwhelming and the police had done a great job of piecing it all together. Not to be deterred, the defence did their best to make something out of nothing, but it was in their summing up to the jury that made me realize that justice has a low priority.

With our adversarial system the only thing that mattered to them was to get their clients off, regardless of the weight of evidence.

In their presentation to the jury they included some made up ‘facts’ to complete their version of events and it is a testimony to the jury that they asked to review evidence which revealed the attempted subterfuge.

Were there winners? Thanks to an excellent prosecution team and an alert jury who sifted through the evidence, the correct verdict was reached, with both being found guilty of murder.

Were there losers? A young man is dead, nothing can bring him back. His family have been put through hell and life will never be the same.

 Jock Jamieson -To contact Jock, email
An excellent article by Jock, defence lawyers do themselves no favours. I recall our case as well where it was obvious the defence who had little to go on ‘made up’ scenarios in an attempt to either get their client a reduced sentence or an acquittal. Interestingly while a so-called adversarial system, it is really no such thing, well not an even playing ground that is, because the prosecution are only permitted to give the facts (on behalf of the state, but that is another story) with no embellishments of the truth. As we all know the criminal law (criminal justice system) is not about justice or fairness, but as Jock says an adversarial system that is in fact a game played out by two opposing sides, both trying to win. Gil Elliott
The Sentencing Act 2002 Defines the Purpose of Sentencing
“To hold offenders accountable, promote sense of responsibility, provide for interests of victims (including reparation for harm done), denunciation of the offenders conduct, deterrence and protection of the community.”

The present Justice System appears to have lost sight of its principle responsibilities. It is failing to enforce many of its own decisions. Fines enforcement is one specific area of concern. How can offenders amass thousands of dollars in unpaid fines and fail to invoke any remedial action by the Justice System.

For an offender to accumulate these large unpaid sums, that offender must have entered the ambit of the Justice System on many occasions only to be released back into society to commit more offences and accumulate still further fines after apprehension by Police court appearances are repeated by these offenders, fines and reparation are imposed and remain unpaid with no final sanction being imposed by the courts. When the outstanding fines reach many thousands of dollars some benevolent Judge will wipe the outstanding fines and give the offender a “fresh start”.

If not wiped, the outstanding fines are replaced with community service, which converts the dollar value to a few cents an hour.

Accountability, responsibility, deterrence disappear and society is left to carry the costs.

The above article by B.Morton would suggest that the Justice System is retreating from its enforcement responsibilities as a cost saving measure. This is not cost saving but rather an unprincipled deflection of costs back into society.

The administration of Justice is a recognised cost that any society accepts, but that same society does not expect to be short-changed when it comes to holding offenders fully accountable for crimes committed.
Alan Monk
Terminology used in NZ Courts Both Criminal and Civil

Gil Elliott - Trustee

The criminal law is certainly a can of worms! It is not an exact science by any measure. It is based on nebulous concepts like ‘REASONABLENESS’ and ‘PROBABILITIES’ – an objective standard. ‘What the ordinary citizen would think and do.’ What an appropriately qualified surgeon or tradesman think ought to have been done. What in fact was reasonable or not under the circumstances of the incident. In short (civil law) the standard is ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – the weight of evidence on both sides, in fact – a balancing act of guilt or innocence and hence the scales of Justice!

But in the criminal law the standard of proof for a successful conviction is higher, it is ‘Beyond reasonable doubt’ – what do those words mean? That something was more likely to have occurred than not! That its occurrence was more probable than not. That the accused is probably guilty of the offence? ‘Reasonable’ is wide open to interpretation. What is reasonable to one person may be unreasonable to another.

"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

- Benjamin Franklin Juries have to come to grips with a ‘likely’ outcome, in fact with an outcome that is ‘more likely than not to have occurred’, that is - ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. This is probably the first time in their lives that they have really had to think more than just in passing of the meaning of those words. They may have heard ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and ‘on the balance of probabilities’ mentioned on TV perhaps.

It is on their heads and conscience that they understand what ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ means. Juries that don’t understand that concept are going to have difficulty forming an opinion and arriving at a decision. In an open and shut case this might be straight forward but in a difficult case it could be almost an impossible task.

The Judge will attempt to make it clear to a jury what ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ means. But it is still a difficult concept to come to terms with.

For a judge or jury; is what the defendant/offender says or did under the circumstances lawful or unlawful and if unlawful to what extent? Was the defendant/offender justified in fact doing what he or she did? Are there mitigating factors; was there some ‘complicity’ on the part of the plaintiff/victim? Was the offender provoked? Gil Elliott

Frivolous Court Appeals

My brother Philip Nisbet was murdered by his wife Helen Milner (AKA the Black Widow) on the 3rd May 2009. After 2 years fighting to convince the police it was murder, not suicide (even though the Detective in charge admitted on numerous occasions he knew she murdered him and kept saying they didn’t have the level of evidence to convict her), a homicide investigation was opened in May 2011. We finally got to trial December 2013 and Milner was convicted of murder and attempted murder.

At sentencing I believed we had heard the last of Milner for at least 17 years. Then I received the dreaded message in March 2014, 12 weeks after conviction, that she was appealing her conviction.

It has been a living nightmare of anxiety and stress playing the waiting game with the Court system.  Since being advised of Milner’s appeal to the Court of Appeal, my days have been plagued with checking my emails from the minute I wake till the end of the day and making sure I never miss a phone call.

Family flew from Christchurch and Australia to Wellington Appeal court for her hearing in July 2014.  After 5 weeks of waiting and the prospect of the possible outcomes playing on my mind, we were told her first appeal was thrown out.
Life regained a sense of normality for 3 weeks until her lawyer did an interview saying Milner was seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. At the end of October we were given notice of the hearing. Hearings at this stage only happen in 1.5% of these cases.

Family again flew to Wellington in January, this time to the Supreme Court and we have only just received the ruling on the seeking leave to appeal, more than 8 months since this application was made. This whole lengthy process has taken an insurmountable toll on my parents’ health.  It pains me to see the added effects of this being stretched out as it has on them. They are in their 80’s.  I just want them to be able to enjoy the time they have left without any more frivolous games. I want some sense of normality in my life for the sake of my children, family and friends, which can’t happen while these games are allowed to be played.

On the 4th of May it will be 6 years since this nightmare began and we see no end to the so called “justice” nightmare associated with it.

Of considerable concern is that in a case like this, which was plagued by failures of the Police investigation, that the system does not give them greater priority to get through the process, including appeals.  There is a ‘fast-track’ for some cases. Why not this one?

I understand there is a need for an appeal process but the current system is set up to allow frivolous appeals and does so on a regular basis, further victimising the victims and at considerable cost to tax payers. The only winners in these fruitless games are the defence lawyers. The boffins in Parliament could hardly have designed a system any better to brutalize the family of victims if they tried.

We as a family have been blessed with the support of Sensible Sentencing Trust throughout the trial and ongoing appeal process. Their support in and out of the court room has saved my sanity and I will be forever grateful.

Lee-Anne Cartier

SST’s view is that a frivolous Appeal should carry an additional sentence tariff

Profile from Database Manager and Trustee - Peter Jenkins

Peter JenkinsThe first time I heard of Sensible Sentencing was when the protests in support of Mark Middleton outside courthouses all around New Zealand hit the news in late 2000. At that time I was already running the Law and Order Referendum website on behalf of Norm Withers, promoting the objectives of that referendum which had found overwhelming public support in 1999.

Garth’s newly founded movement was inspirational and very much in line with my own vision for a safe NZ for all, and it was clear that he would continue the good fight that Norm and others had started. At the early 2001 march in Auckland’s Queen Street in support of Mark Middleton, I met Garth in person and offered to do a website for him. I remember his reply - “what’s a website?” He has learnt a great deal since - as we all have!

Soon afterwards I became the Trust’s webmaster, and within weeks I had a 20 page site up. The Offender Database which initially had just 30 offenders listed, was started in early 2002. There are now in excess of 4000. Maintaining this is an immense task which has now largely been taken over by Ross Crosby.

A large number of articles and submissions were added to the site, along with Press Releases and victim stories and the site quickly grew and went through a couple of redesigns. The first was in mid - 2002, adding more colour and making navigation easier and more consistent over what was already quite a large site. The second was in September 2006, to build a complete new structure, which served us well into late 2013, by which time it was quite antiquated.

Fixing Criminal justice is complex, which meant that by then the site had sprawled into a creaking, difficult to navigate monster of over 2000 pages. The difficulty of managing and maintaining it along with the Offender Database was becoming increasingly clear to all, and a decision was made to do another complete update and redesign and rebuild it from scratch, which was done, not without a degree of difficulty. We are still refining this at present, and soon hope to restore some of the articles and other content that was on the old site.

In the course of all this work, a number of issues rose to the forefront, all sharing one thing in common - the unfortunate fact that even the worst criminals have the same human rights as the rest of us - something which is the root cause of many of the problems that victims face.

It was also behind one of the biggest problems we had to face, the case the Privacy Commison took against us on behalf of a convicted paedophile in 2012/2013, a long story in itself, and one that remains to be told in full. I hope that one day it will be. Name suppression is another vexed issue, one which I hope that the recent bill brought to Parliament by NZ First’s Darroch Ball will finally resolve. Peter

Sir Russell Pettigrew – Our Tribute

Sir Russell PettigrewSensible Sentencing Patron and well known New Zealander, Sir Russell Pettigrew died recently after a short illness. Sir Russell, 94, was born 10 September 1920 and died 20 March 2015.

Long before I met Sir Russell, he was my hero. I grew up eyeing with envy one of Pettigrew Transport (later to become Freightways) many trucks and smelling the diesel as they laboured past my home on the Napier - Taupo Highway.

I idolised the man and it seemed a natural choice to ask Sir Russell to chair the inaugural meeting of the Sensible Sentencing Trust in Napier in 2001.

Sir Russell and Lady Pettigrew became my mentors. They were very passionate about personal accountability and public safety and it was a great honour for me personally and a coup for the organisation when they became joint patrons of SST.

Sir Russell was an amazing New Zealander and contributed much to the world of business, but also gave very generously to the community. Sir Russell didn’t tolerate fools, he was very black and white and clear-cut, there was no mincing of words and he got straight to the point.

He was well known for not wasting time; returning from World War Two on a Friday, he purchased a delivery business over the weekend and opened for business on the Monday!

That business grew to become Pettigrew Transport and later the giant Freightways Group which owned outright or had shareholders in companies such as Motor Truck Distributors, Chep Hire, Fastway Couriers and many more.

He received a Knight Bachelor in 1983 for his role as founder of Freightways and his lifetime dedication to the transport industry.

Sir Russell was also a farmer and owned shares in many diverse businesses served as a director of 14 organisations and was Chairman of the NZRFU. Sir Russell was inducted into the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2013.

The Sensible Sentencing family would like to express our condolences to Lady Glenis and the wider Pettigrew family and thank you for sharing such an amazing man with us. Garth

Jayne is our South Island Victim Adviser

Jayne WalkerIn 1997 while I slept, a man broke into my house through my daughter’s bedroom window and murdered her. He then came into my bedroom with a hammer and a knife and tried to murder me.

Like many other New Zealanders I was privileged to have the support and understanding from the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust and I was determined to give that level of support to other families facing the horror that is the New Zealand “justice” system.

When you have lived through serious violence you feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. I believe if you are supported by someone else who has been there and knows what you are going through, it makes a massive difference.

In a system that centres entirely on the offender and his or her rights, I know I am on the right team and will do all I can to help give victims a voice.

Thug Avoids Jail - Victim Left Court in Shock

A Huge Thumbs Down: Thug avoids Jail!

A Hastings man, beaten and left for dead during an unprovoked and brutal attack, was in total shock when the thug who attacked him avoided jail time.

The victim was left bloodied and unresponsive on a footpath in a well-known city area in Hastings. Despite the victim being unrecognisable following the attack and subsequently spending five days in hospital and 24 hours in an induced coma, the thug avoided a jail term. He was instead sentenced to four months community detention with 200 hours community work and 9 months supervision.

Despite the high end of the violent offence Judge Bridget Macintosh said the offender “was a talented sports-man and performed well at school and the attack appeared out of character”. The Judge went on to say the beating was “probably fuelled by alcohol” and described it as a “brain explosion”. The Judge went on to say the offender’s good character and remorse kept him out of jail.

After sentencing the thug left court and was ‘welcomed’ by several friends and family members. As he was whisked away he made hand gestures out the window.


Garth was asked on behalf of the Trust to comment on the sentence handed down.

“Garth McVicar is appalled with the pathetic sentence which was an absolute slap in the face to the victim, who a year on continues to recover from the brutal attack. The sentence escaped the principals of sentencing. this sentence has no deterrent for future offending, Hawke’s Bay is dealing with some of the worst crime statistics in NZ and this offender’s sentence only adds to a massive problem in society”

Soon after Garth was slammed for his comments about the Judge by a well know Hawke’s Bay defence lawyer, (article HB Today March 6th written by Sam Hurley).

We say the judge got it wrong where does accountability come into such a brutual crime? Where is the deterrent in that sort of pathetic sentence? Justice was not served.

For other good or bad sentences go to;  a website set up for the public on good and bad court sentences.

Thumbs Up: Three Strikes legislation captures Sexual Predator and protects elderly women

A man who sexually assaulted an 87 year old woman in her home has been sentenced to 12 years and nine months. Tareha pleaded guilty to four charges of unlawful sexual connection, injuring with intent, assault with intent to cause sexual violation, indecent assault and two burglary charges.

Justice Kit Toogood said there was “absolutely no evidence of genuine remorse” and the offending was ‘outrageous”. Tareha was on parole at the time of the offence.

Sensible Sentencing applauds the 12 years nine months jail sentence, Tareha was also given a ‘second strike’, meaning he would have to serve his full sentence, i.e. no parole.

“This guy is exactly the kind of dangerous perverted mongrel three strikes was designed to capture” says Garth.

Thank you Justice Toogood at least he can’t hurt anyone for the next 12 years.

Thumbs Up?

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY: The Minister of Justice is calling for feed-back on the Victims code. We encourage you to have a look at the recommendations and write a submission.

NEW CODE TO PUT VICTIMS FIRST: The Ministry of Justice is responsible for developing and putting in place a Victims Code. This comes under changes to the Victims’ Rights Act 2002, which took effect in December 2014.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says a new draft Victims Code of Rights will help to ensure victims are better informed and put them at the heart of the justice system.

The draft code outlines victims’ rights, the services available to victims and their families from government agencies and other organisations, and the obligations of justice sector agencies when dealing with victims. Ms Adams says the Government is seeking people’s views on how easy the draft code is to understand and how to ensure people know about it.

“Developing the Victims Code is an important part of our work to ensure victims know their rights. It is vital that victims of crime who are caught up in the criminal justice system through no fault of their own know about and understand it,” Ms Adams says.

“To be effective and reach those who need it, the code needs to be user-friendly and readily available to victims and their families. The Government has developed the code with the interests of victims in mind, and is seeking public feedback to ensure we’ve got it right.”

Anyone wishing to comment can do so through a short online questionnaire.

Both the draft code and questionnaire can be found here
SST is on the Road
Due to some fantastic sponsorship we have two cars on the road in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington.
We thank Judy Ashton for our Wellington car and George Billings for our Hawke’s Bay car.

It’s a fantastic way of getting the SST brand out there. I am sure Leigh and Garth will fly the flag well. Our next goal will be to find sponsorship for a Christchurch car.

Membership Renewal

We appreciate your annual donation as we are making a difference thanks to your ongoing support. A huge thanks to those members who have already renewed their membership and we welcome our new members. It’s a privilege to work on your behalf to bring about much needed changes with our Justice System. This year will be a big year for us as we are planning a paedophile campaign. This is well advanced and will be launched in the not too distant future.

Members Have Their Say

“I applaud you all, for the great work, support to people in need, tirelessly and the time you give willing.” - Dury

“Jock and Margaret Jamieson addressed our probus recently. They gave a very powerful address which was very well received by our members. Their forth-rightness was greatly admired and we have recommended them to other clubs” - Auckland

Sensible Sentencing encompasses two very distinct trusts and purposes. Sensible Sentencing Trust doesn’t have donee status. Sensible Sentencing Group Trust has been granted Charitable Status.

The Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) is a charitable trust with the specific purpose of supporting victims of serious violent and/or sexual crime and homicide. We serve to educate the public as to the plight of these victims and to ensure such victims and their families are fully aware of their rights and entitlements, providing both education and practical support during their time of trauma. All charitable donations received by this trust fund our volunteers to assist with such things as educating these victims regarding their rights and entitlements, emotional and practical support during pre-trial court hearings, criminal justice trials, parole board hearings, and an annual homicide victims conference.

Trustees: Leigh Woodman, Louise Parsons, Anne McVicar
The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) is distinct to the SSGT and is also a registered charitable trust but, unlike the SSGT, does not have donee status with the IRD. This trust unashamedly exists to advocate on behalf of the victims of serious violent and/or sexual crime and homicide in New Zealand, with a view to ensuring effective sentencing and penal policies that reduce re-offending and ultimately keep the public safe. All donations received by this trust assist our volunteers to travel to meet with politicians about the SST’s policy wishlist (such as bail and parole reform, Three Strikes and public Offender Databases) attend select committee sessions, educate our membership regarding SST policies and activities, and run lobbying campaigns such as Christie’s Law.

Trustees: Gil Elliott, Graeme Moyle, Peter Jenkins, Garth McVicar
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By purchasing your Christmas cards through the website below you will be helping support SST. As a fundraiser the Trust receives a percentage of what’s purchased. These cards can be posted to you up to 3 days before Christmas. To view the 8 images available and purchase you click the button below. 
Click Here: Buy your SST Christmas Cards
Call 0900 72 33 69 To Make A $20 Donation to SST
Copyright © 2015 Sensible Sentencing Trust, All rights reserved.

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