Lawyer disputes criticism of Delegat sentence

A Dunedin barrister has that the sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for assaulting a police officer was ”entirely consistent” for the type of offence.

ODT: Claim Delegat got rich person’s justice disputed has a mixed response from  New Zealand Police Association president Greg O’Connor who said…

…if Delegat had been from the ”other end of the socio-economic scale”, the sentence would have included jail time, or something closer to it.

A ”high-powered lawyer” could help someone get a lighter sentence, he said.

The sentence had caused ”general disquiet” among some police officers in Dunedin, especially given the severity of injuries sustained by Const Kane.

However, Judge Kevin Phillips needed to be commended for resisting the ”considerable pressure” to grant name suppression and discharge without conviction, Mr O’Connor said.

But Dunedin barrister Anne Stevens said…

…the claim Delegat had bought justice was ”outrageous”.

She had been a lawyer for 29 years and the sentence was ”entirely consistent” for the type of offence, committed by someone with no previous convictions and otherwise good character, and who had pleaded guilty.

”It’s nothing to do with his parents’ wealth, it’s nothing to do with the colour of his skin; it’s to do with his culpability and his character.”

The conviction was a ”serious outcome”, Mrs Stevens said.

”He wants to sail in other parts of the world and it will be a big burden for him.”

The sentence had nothing to do with Delegat’s choice of lawyer, she said.

”Any number of lawyers in Dunedin would have achieved the same result … some of them, I dare say, would have got a discharge.”

Judges take many things into account when sentencing and they know much more than the average public pundit. I think this case would have been very carefully considered by Judge Phillips given that Delegat was represented by an out of town lawyer (from Auckland).

This sentence may or may not be tested under appeal.

But it’s probably too late to appeal for reasoned and well informed discussion of this case.

43 Comments

  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 14, 2016

    The victim was in hospital for 15 days and off work for two months.

    If Paul Henry’s poll is any indication of wider feelings about the inadequacy of Delegat’s sentencing then over 90% of Kiwis agree that the judge let him off lightly.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/delegats-light-sentence-down-to-wealth-and-skin-colour—police-association-2016091309

    • 99% of Kiwis would not have seen anywhere near all the information available to the sentencing judge, nor will most of them have any idea about sentencing guidelines and precedents.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 14, 2016

        Well said, PG. Given the profile of the case I can’t see the judge being anything but diligent in following the rules.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 14, 2016

          What reason-unless the judge was being offered a massive bribe to make it worth their while, which isn’t impossible but is so unlikely as to be not worth considering-would they have to ‘let someone off lightly’ ? I can’t think of one. If the judge was a relation or family friend, they wouldn’t have been trying the case in the first place.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 14, 2016

            It does seem that the reaction is one of envy, not rationality.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  September 14, 2016

            Incompetence
            Unconscious racism
            Colonialism
            Swayed by stereotypes…

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 14, 2016

              These are unlikely speculations-how on earth do you imagine that anyone like that would manage to stay in the position ?

              Incompetence-hardly likely to remain undetected
              .
              Unconscious racism ? Irrelevant, unless ND had a brown friend being charged with him who had a much more severe sentence for the same offence. I can’t imagine racists being so ‘unconsciously’-look at Paul Henry.

              Colonialism ? In the 21st century ?

              A judge is hardly likely to be swayed by stereotypes.to that extent. It would soon show up.

  2. Pete Kane

     /  September 14, 2016

    I listened carefully to her on the RNZ Panel, Tone can be telling.. The least she could do is be able to correct McCormick on the number of blows. 4,5 or 6 perhaps more, full straight rights (and evidently very well timed), not 3. Apparently at least 4 conceded by the defence. Very fortunate to be not dealing with a cracked skull given the surface. But good on her for defending her ‘local union’, as O’Connor did his earlier in the day. (If you see my reply to PP’s excellent contribution, last evening, I had not sought/argued incarceration. I should have said imprisonment.)
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201815970

    • Pete Kane

       /  September 14, 2016

      Clarification – should have used the word imprisonment instead of incarceration.

  3. Ray

     /  September 14, 2016

    Interesting that no one has put up a Māori boy with a similar record and a similar assault who has been sent to prison.
    Instead we get the race card be played .

  4. lurcher1948

     /  September 14, 2016

    It’s all right when the rich right do it

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 14, 2016

      Really ? I don’t agree with you. Crime is never all right.

      The police don’t think that it is, either, and nor does the justice system. I am surprised that you would say this, it goes against your other comments.

  5. Here’s a case of unprovoked assault that resulted in death but ended with a sentence of less than five years.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=11012127

    The whole sentencing regime is very unsatisfactory.

  6. Ray

     /  September 14, 2016

    Well Joe I have read those and no they don’t give me a Māori student with a clean sheet being sent to prison.
    What they seem to show is young brown men jump from minor trouble to prison more easy than white men.
    Probably more to do with income and class than colour from what I have seen in the justice system.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 14, 2016

    There was a young brown man in Hamilton a few years ago who had a massive amount in fines that he was really struggling to pay back as a young family man. It seemed like the burden of Sisyphus. A judge had said that if he didn’t have so much as a parking ticket for I forget how long, but quite a while, the fines would be wiped. There was the young man on the front page, ecstatic that he had had this chance and taken it-and retrieved his life.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  September 14, 2016

      What do you mean by “a young brown man….”, Kitzy? Is it no longer acceptable in your knitting- circle to say Islander or Maori? 😡

      And you’ll find Sisyphus is no longer a burden…….Penithillin has been around for years XD

      • Nick Ellis

         /  September 14, 2016

        LOL

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 14, 2016

          You really are pathetic, Nelly. He was a young brown man, I can’t remember now if he was Maori or Pasifika, hence the word brown.The point of the story (spell it out in words of one syllable) was that being a MAN with a BROWN SKIn does not mean that the man will not be given (oops, two syllables) a fair go. Oh, forget it.

          You seem to be confused-this is not a knitting circle. Do such things even exist now ? You would know, I suppose.

          The burden referred to is a stone that the unlucky man had to roll uphill eternally, It’s a story from the classics, known to anyone with a reasonable education. Hence, not you.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  September 14, 2016

            Whoosh… the sound of sarcasm whistling over your blue rinse, Kitty… 😆

          • Nelly Smickers

             /  September 14, 2016

            And you shouldn’t be too quick to judge people either, Kitzy :/

            I just asked Wayne if he knew who *Sisyphus* was……and straight away, he said, “I think it was some Greek dude that kept trying to push shit uphill”

  8. patupaiarehe

     /  September 14, 2016

    This was a hot topic at the smoko table today. Interestingly enough, one of the boys was sentenced to 400 hours of community work for an alcohol related offence a few years back. His crime? High end drink driving (and not the first time). Didn’t hit or hurt anyone (although he obviously could have). Mind you, he doesn’t have a rich dad….
    It interests me how some commenters (not just here) are ‘baying for blood’, and saying he should be imprisoned. Look at the guy. He wouldn’t last 5 minutes inside. He has even volunteered to help police educate students on the dangers of overindulging. He can’t undo what he did, but maybe he can prevent someone else doing it.

    • Corky

       /  September 14, 2016

      You are right… the bros would waste him shortly after his induction. That’s why they have protected wings. He should be in there. The trouble is, those urges that made him bash a cop, won’t be extinguished by community service. Even in a protected wing, he would still be stomped a couple of times…or opened up by a vicious child molester. That would make him think twice once he was released. In fact, I would go as far to say, jail would be the making of this boy.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  September 14, 2016

        Getting beaten up by someone bigger than him isn’t going to help him with any anger issues he may have, and it certainly won’t undo what he did.

        • Corky

           /  September 14, 2016

          No, but it’ll burst his bubble about how the world is, and how alien other groups in society think and act. He will learn to survive, think as others do, and understand social situations way better. In fact he may have trouble intergarting with his peers once he’s released. He may even hold them in contempt.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  September 14, 2016

            Or he might just kill himself after a week. What a great result that would be, aye Corky? That’ll fix the cop’s head injury….

            • Corky

               /  September 14, 2016

              They have suicide watch. Don’t be emotional. I know for a fact planting trees won’t fix the cops injuries. In fact, I would hazard a guess this boy will be in trouble again over the coming years.

              There are two types of rich kid. Arrogant and Non arrogant. The non arrogant realise there’s no need for arrogance because they have money and power. That gives them a warm fuzzy feeling. Why kick the bulldogge and get bitten?Just buy it off. The arrogant believe they rule the world, and little people need to know this. Our friend, in my opinion, is in that group. Hence, why I believe he should be in jail. So he learns that for a successful life, he will ironically rely to some degree on little people. Best he learns how they think….and dream.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  September 14, 2016

              Well pardon me Corky, I didn’t realize you had a degree in psychology, or that you knew the family personally.

            • Corky

               /  September 15, 2016

              Seriously ?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  September 15, 2016

              Well obviously I’m not being serious Corky. But you started it…. 😛

  9. lurcher1948

     /  September 14, 2016

    The police women basher got away safely…
    [Deleted crude insinuating comment. PG

  10. patupaiarehe

     /  September 14, 2016

    It actually bothers me a little that some people seem to think that others, who have accumulated/inherited wealth, are somehow devoid of morals, and harbor contempt for their fellow man. This may be true of some, but IMHO it is a bit like saying that all Maori’s are lazy. An unfair generalization…

    • Blazer

       /  September 15, 2016

      of course,there are exceptions.In a society of winners and losers ,the ‘winners’ have perfected the art of outwardly,being caring,sincere people who just want to ‘help’ others and have the church attendance…to prove…it.