Bad journalism, bad blogging, bad case in Youth Court

A bad case in the Youth Court of two rapes, bad reporting, bad MP reactions, bad blogging and predictable blog comments rife with inaccuracies and misdirected blame.

Initial misleading report at Stuff: Teenage rapist ‘got off very lightly’ after admitting sex attacks on two girls

A teenager was spared jail for rape after a court heard he had a promising career as a sportsman ahead of him.

The now 18-year-old, who has previously represented New Zealand on the world stage, admitted charges of rape and sexual violation in the Auckland Youth Court.

But he will not be jailed after a judge took into account his “outstanding talent” when sentencing him for sex attacks on two teenage girls.

The teenager has automatic  and, aside from his record noting the Youth Court appearances, faces no punishment.

There was outrage on Twitter, only some of it justified.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog: Name suppression disgrace

He’s raped and assaulted two girls and he gets permanent name and not even a slap on the wrist – all because he is good at sports.

That is sickening.

I’m not saying he should go to prison. But to face no punishment at all is terrible, and no one should get name suppression for serious violent or sexual offending if they have been found guilty.

The victims must feel terrible that after what he did to them, he gets off totally. Not even community service, a fine, home detention etc. He gets zilch all because he is good at sports.

The Crown must appeal this travesty of a sentence.

Some of this is inaccurate because the Stuff report was inaccurate, but DPF has added his own inaccuracies. The offender got off very lightly, but did not get off totally.

Uninformed outrage ensued, including from a lawyer. other lawyers set the record straight…

GPT1

If you are going to rant and rave can you please get the law right. It was in the Youth Court. Suppression is the law. There was a time when you did analysis not talkback by blog.

…but as is common at Kiwiblog they were downticked for adding facts to the discussion.

Graeme Edgeler on Twitter also pointed out facts of the matter.

Stuff corrected their story: Teenage rapist ‘got off very lightly’ after admitting sex attacks on two girls

A teenager who has hopes of being a professional sportsman has failed in his bid to keep any record of his charges for rape and sexual violation from his record.

The teenager, who has previously represented New Zealand on the world stage, admitted the charges in the Auckland Youth Court.

The now 18-year-old has automatic name suppression and, aside from his record noting the Youth Court appearances, he faces no punishment.

An advocate for survivors of sexual abuse says the teenager has “got off very lightly”.

* CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the teenager had been spared jail after a court heard of his promising sport career. In fact, because the case was heard in the Youth Court a jail term was not a sentencing option available to the judge. We regret the error.

That has been pointed out on Kiwiblog but it hasn’t stopped the outrage raging.

Even an ex-Minister of Justice jumped on the bash-wagon (albeit reacting to first the Stuff report).

For anyone who wants to understand the court judgment accurately 2018-NZYC-490_New-Zealand-Police-v-OV.pdf [311 KB]

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21 Comments

  1. The sloppy reporting to end all sloppy reporting !!!

    I would have found it totally unacceptable had it been true; who wouldn’t ?

    The reporters should be sacked.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th August 2019

      Who’s the idiot who doesn’t agree that a story that is 100% inaccurate is sloppy reporting ? Spare me.

      Reply
      • Make that five idiots who don’t think that a story which is essentially a fabrication and has no resemblance to the reality of the events is sloppy reporting.

        Reply
  2. Corky

     /  14th August 2019

    So, the question that needs to be asked: What sentencing options did the judge have available for this crime; regarding this case?

    Was a psychiatric evaluation done? My bet is this man turns up ten years later charged with the same offence. No doubt going straight for ten years would be taken into consideration at sentencing should he be found guilty.

    Youth court, or not…there is something drastically wrong when a person walks after committing two rapes. The justice system needs an overhaul.

    I

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th August 2019

      He hasn’t just ‘walked’. The whole story about how he got off because he was good at sport was false and has been disproved.

      Reply
  3. phantom snowflake

     /  14th August 2019

    Here’s a very thoughtful and insightful article concerning this matter. It’s from a perspective totally at odds with that of the typical Your NZ commentator, i.e. both Feminist and Prison Abolitionist. Go on, challenge yourselves!
    https://www.metromag.co.nz/society/society-crime/should-a-teenage-rapist-face-a-prison-sentence-auckland-youth-court

    Reply
    • I didn’t find it particularly insightful or thoughtful; it didn’t say anything very original and seemed based on generalisations.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th August 2019

      Bill English accurately described prisons as moral and economic failures. He could have said the same about most bureaucracies. Rehabilitation and restitution would be success contrasting with prison failure.

      Reply
  4. Jeeves

     /  14th August 2019

    I must admit, I was a bit dismayed by previous ‘discharges without conviction’ for sports persons of talent, on the grounds a conviction would prevent them pursuing careers / opportunities overseas.
    Why are sports seen as somehow more important than any other potential career?

    So if you’re good at a) making bucketloads of money, or b) sports…
    You are treated as an exception…..

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th August 2019

      Many people are discharged without conviction.

      It’s hard to believe that someone will be acquitted of a crime that they have committed just because they are a sport player or have money.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  14th August 2019

        I have just looked this up, and the person’s status and occupation are irrelevant. What is taken into account is whether the consequences of a sentence would be out of proportion to the offence and other things like the person having made reparation and their likelihood of reoffending.

        It seems to be a myth that people are able to buy an acquittal or have it because of who they are.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  14th August 2019

      Why are sports seen as somehow more important than any other potential career? You mean why do media report as controversial and questionable, episodes where sports are mentioned as if sports were somehow more significant?

      And why are some so limited and biased that they get sucked into jumping on some bandwagon of ignorance?

      I can understand David Farrar’s response. His mission is to make it seem that things are bad in the country because National isn’t in government. Pushing any barrow in the law and order garage to inflame the ignorant is good.

      Reply
  5. Corky

     /  14th August 2019

    Apologies. I have been informed this criminal didn’t just walk…he avoided jail time for two rapes. In my book that’s a free walk relative to the crime. Hence my call above for the justice system to be overhauled so young criminals like this can be dealt to.

    Given this country is full of activist judges sometimes reinterpreting the law, why wasn’t the presiding judge not speaking out about the manifest inadequacies of his power to punish severely.

    As I said before, my money is on this chap coming before the court at a future date.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  15th August 2019

      Read the whole story. He was underage so charged in a youth court.

      Judges cannot act outside the law.

      As we don’t know who he is, any speculation is pointless.

      Reply
  6. Lou Graham

     /  16th August 2019

    Surely, the point missed by the journalists is he TRIED to get off without a record, by citing his sporting prowess….one would hope he wasn’t using his sport as a defence….

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th August 2019

    In contrast, here is some excellent journalism:
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12261308

    John Roughan pointing out that journalistic privilege is a fools delusion that actually hog-ties journalism to the state and allows the state to select who is allowed to be a journalist.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  26th August 2019

      Roughan is the fool
      A judge didn’t make a rule . It’s right there in the evidence act. Journalists can’t be compelled to answer question AND can’t be compelled to produce documents. A search warrant in Hagerstown case was after documents.
      Just because the police hadn’t read the law, that’s been there since 2006, doesn’t mean it’s some sort new journalist privilege
      Roughan seems to be in favour of journalist privilege except not when Hager benefits.

      Indeed the newspaper he was deputy editor of went to court to battle for Slater’s private information after Rawshark put the lot on the internet.
      Hager only provided extracts but the Herald wanted to print the source documents
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11319296

      What a tool Roughan is not even knowing the law regarding journalism or how his newspaper has gone to court multiple times over the years to publish in the public interest (and newspaper sales and clicks)

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  26th August 2019

        Seems to have passed right over your head. Suggest reread with comprehension switched on.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  27th August 2019

          Passed over ?
          he makes a whole lot of claims but the essential part of Hager and the police raid for evidence on his house isnt allowed under the evidence Act. The police say they didnt know , well that are hardly going to say ‘they did know and went ahead anyway.’ And
          Roughan seems to claim he didnt know about existing legal protections for journalists, thats more believable as he seems to remember it about ‘naming sources ‘ under cross examination in a court.. Clearly he hasnt ‘keep up’ with the law since 2006. This was the guy who was Deputy Editor …unbelievable ( and kept in his job by being mates with Key long after ‘time servers in newspapers were let go )
          His rant was clearly about Hager and his book revealing the dark side of National , HDPA said much the same thing on “news talk ZB’ website last week ( that would never make it into the pages of the Herald

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  27th August 2019

            Your agenda is showing. His point was that recently law changes that restrict privileges explicitly to journalists which previously were available to all via common law now allow the state to decide who is a journalist and thereby control the media.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  27th August 2019

              No recent law changes…..did he complain all the time he was deputy editor? Evidence Act was 13 years ago, and put into law the long time convention about journalists not being compelled to name sources. Roughan loves that part..apparently. His arguments are illogical when his real target is Hager

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