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CYPF Act Fuels Teen Car-slaughter.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 21, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

CYPF Act Fuels Teen Car-slaughter.
Saturday, 21.04.2007, 02:45pm (GMT12)

CYPF Act Fuels Teen Car-slaughter

CYPF Act Fuels Teen Car-slaughter

Candor Trust is adding it’s voice to the calls for tougher youth penalties for out of control teen drivers who use vehicles as lethal weapons.

Three months detention for a 16 year old who killed two people and seriously injured two others while driving a swanky hot car is symptomatic of a sick system, say Candor.

“He should not have been dealt with by the Youth Court considering his offenses were able to earn maximum penalties of 5 years jail for each victim killed or injured, had he appeared in District Court”.

“Old enough to drive according to this Government? Then old enough to face the consequence,” comments Spokeswoman Rachael Ford.

Fortunately the Children, Young Persons and Families Act is currently being reviewed. The Trust encourages anybody who is outraged to make a submission via the Ministry of Social Development website at

Submitting something to the effect that driving offenses which cause injury or death should be added to list of offenses already named in the Act as suitable for referral to the adult District Courts (for 15-18’s), could help prevent future injustices.

The Trust does not buy the Polices line that having looked at, and then dismissed the possibility of manslaughter charges was an appropriate or sufficient response.

‘That would not be the logical approach. There is also a middle ground which was probably the correct one – that of pursuing the same charges of dangerous driving causing death, but of doing so in the District Court.’

The Childrens, Young Persons and Families Act allows certain serious charges to be transferred to adult courts for this age group, and the Trust consider this should have happened.

Candor fully supports New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark
view that killing two people is an adult crime and one that should be dealt with in the adult courts.

“Even if you kill a person, two people there is no serious consequence,” Mark said.


“The most likely reason it was not transferred to an adult court is the fact that dangerous driving causing death is not considered serious, even for an adult, in the NZ Justice system”.

It is not indictable like rape nor is it classified as violent offending which is completely laughable. This is mainly so for political reasons, because this non violent status enables Parole a third of the way through serving a sentence.

Youth advocates say exposing young killers like the most recent case to harsher sentencing will do more harm than good.

Senior law lecturer John Hancock claims more referrals to adult courts will result in a much wider pool of young people who will not be able to integrate back into society.

The Trust considers such comments are hysterical, because it’s not every day a youth who is in fact old enough to get married decides to risk others lives by driving like a maniac.

‘Adult Courts can still go lightly too lets not forget,’ Candor notes.

‘There would be few cases requiring referral anyway, but when it is appropriate as with this case it certainly should happen for several obvious reasons’.

Firstly, aggrieved Victims have rights to dignified respectful treatment within the system which are supposedly enshrined under the Victims Rights Act. Not seeing Justice done transgresses those rights and breaches the Acts principles.

Secondly, soft handling of such serious cases sends out a terrible message about road safety to teenagers which is that they can get away with mayhem and murder.

The deterrant factor is absent which subjects all road users to ongoing risk.

Perhaps 2 people would not have been killed by this offender if the 15 year old who mowed down some young children recently while out on a suburban joyride had been made an example of, via referral to adult courts.

A good public shaming well tracked by media, with name suppression for the 15 year old of course would surely have made some impression on the hard headed section of teenage rebels.

Suddenly the idea they could be appearing before a Judge and looking like the culpable idiot they are, rather than having all the action tucked away in fluffy family group conferences just might register on teen hoons radar.


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