The kids who were killed in stolen car smash

Yesterday a horrible car smash in Christchurch that went up in flames, killing occupants, led the news.

The police are in difficult situations where dangerous use of lethal vehicles are involved. It has been reported that the car was driven through the city at over 130 km per hour, running red lights, in wet conditions. Some sort of accident was a clear possibility. So it happened.

Police officers were quickly on the accident scene, and were injured when they unsuccessfully tried to free the boys from the flaming wreck.

The role of the police in starting to chase the car, then withdrawing from the chase, then laying out road spikes that contributed to the accident, will get plenty of scrutiny in due course. It should be thoroughly investigated.

But what about the lives and deaths of the three teenagers? stuff has some initial insight in Young brothers killed after fleeing car explodes in ‘huge ball of fire

Stuff understands the boys are 16-year-old Glen Mcallister, who was believed to be driving the car, and 13-year-olds Craig Mcallister and Brooklyn Taylor.

The mother of two young boys killed alongside their friend after the fleeing car they were in exploded says she’s in “severe shock”.

That’s understandable.

Glen and Craig’s mother, Juanita Rose, told Stuff she was in “severe shock” after losing her two sons, who she called her “babies, my life”.

Their sister posted a tribute to her “handsome brothers” on Facebook.

“Losing one of you is hard enough, but both of you going has destroyed me. Thirteen and 16 is way too young to be gone.

But these three young teenagers were out near midnight driving a car they had stolen. And it is claimed they had a habit of stealing cars.

Taylor’s older sister, TeAri Taylor, said her younger brother’s life began to unravel when their father died nine years ago.

Taylor said she felt sick when she got a call on Monday morning to say her brother had died.

I know the feeling, albeit in less horrific circumstances.

“He was a broken child.They were attached at the hip, Dad was his best mate.”

Brooklyn was in the care of Oranga Tamariki at the time of his death.

TeAri Taylor spoke with him in April last year, after the death of their grandmother, about moving up to Wellington to live with her.

“At the time he wasn’t going through a very good situation, wrong people, wrong crowd – just basically couldn’t get out of the situation that he was in,” she said.

It sounds like he was certainly in the wrong crowd in the wrong car on Sunday night.

“Everybody makes mistakes, but that’s your life. They were only 13 and 16 – it’s absolutely disgusting, they had so much to live for.

“As much as I’m broken that we have to bury my baby brother, it wasn’t an easy decision or situation to deal with for those police to have to deal with.”

It is understood the three boys had regularly stolen cars throughout the city in recent months. The Mazda Familia involved in the crash was first seen speeding in central Christchurch at 11.13pm on Sunday, reaching speeds in excess of 130kmh and running red lights on Moorhouse Ave. It had been stolen earlier that night.

If it is understood that “the three boys had regularly stolen cars throughout the city in recent months” how could they have still been able to be out stealing and driving on Sunday night?

The police will hopefully learn from how they handled the incident. Some of the police officers are likely to be haunted by what they had to deal with.

Oranga Tamariki may also hopefully learn something from their involvement.

But will there be lessons for families of out of control teens?

Also from Stuff – The faces of fatal police chases: Teens make up half of crash victims

Teenagers make up almost half of all victims of fatal police pursuits reported in New Zealand in the last three years.

Stuff has been able to confirm the identities of 27 people who died as a result of car crashes where police were in pursuit at some point since 2015. This includes drivers, passengers, and innocent road users who were hit.

Of the 27 fatalities, 13 were teenagers, some as young as 12 years old.

 

 

 

 

Hager could face charges for receiving hacked data

A recent Supreme Court decision which ruled that computer files were property has put the spotlight on whether Nicky Hager could now be charged with receiving hacked (stolen) data from ‘Rawshark’, who is credited with hacking Cameron Slater’s data.

David Fisher reports in NZ Herald (and don’t just diss Fisher because, it looks like an informative and balanced article).

Court decision puts Hager back in frame

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager may face criminal charges over accepting the hacked material used to write the bombshell book, according to documents obtained by the Herald.

Police will not say whether the investigative journalist is again a suspect, instead of simply a witness, after a pivotal Supreme Court decision which ruled computer files were property.

Documents show the new definition from the court puts Hager back in the frame over the computer files he was given by a hacker which he used as the basis for his book.

This was predicted as a possibility as soon as the Supreme Court decision was made public.

An Official Information Act response to Hager’s lawyers in June saw police lawyer Carolyn Richardson explain there had been a decision – apparently just before the journalist’s house was searched – to treat him as an “unco-operative witness as opposed to a suspect”. It was based on legal advice over an earlier Court of Appeal decision which said computer files weren’t property, she said.

But she said his status could change depending on the Supreme Court’s view of computer files as property. “It may be that the judgment will have some bearing on whether or not [Hager] has himself committed an offence as well as Rawshark.”

The letter supports an affidavit from Detective Inspector Dave Lynch, quoted in submissions from Hager’s lawyers in a current court challenge over a search warrant executed on his home. It described the lead officer in the Rawshark inquiry as holding the same views, with Hager’s lawyer saying it “suggests Mr Hager may yet be charged depending on the outcome” of the Supreme Court decision.

Crown submissions stated Hager was a witness but “had it become apparent that he had committed an offence, then of course consideration would have had to have been given to charging him”.

So the Police will no doubt be considering whether to charge Hager, depending on what evidence they have.

But Hager has openly admitted being given the data and using it for his Dirty Politics book. He would have done that thinking he was protected by the law on possessing the data, but will presumably have been aware of potential risks.

Any shift in Hager’s status as a suspect or a witness could also impact the decision on his High Court challenge to the search warrant executed on his home in October 2014. Hager’s lawyers had insisted there was a higher hurdle to get a search warrant against somebody who was a witness – as Hager was on the day of the search – than for a suspect.

Hager was a “suspect” at the time detectives sought bank records from Westpac without a legal order, police said yesterday.

So this may be a concern for Hager and his legal team, it makes their arguments more difficult to make.

This should deter people from hacking personal and political data in the future, and it should make authors and journalists think very carefully about using illegally obtained data.

It’s worth noting that several journalists also had access to Rawshark data so were presumably given copies. Do they have special protection?

Including David Fisher? He doesn’t explore this angle.

Ethical Mallardy for Shearer

Trevor Mallard has questioned the ethics of other MPs a number of times. For example:

TREVOR Well, I think we’ve got a possum in the headlights in John Banks, and we’ve got a contagion on the side of John Key. The longer John Key keeps Banks there, the worse Key looks. And I think in politics, that’s successful. As a parliamentarian, I hate it. Guys who are acting like Banks, who can’t remember, who’s before the police on a serious electoral-fraud charge, someone whose ethics are questionable, someone who lied to the media, just shouldn’t be in Parliament.

(PAUL HOLMES INTERVIEWS TREVOR MALLARD Sunday, 6 May, 2012 )

Mallard has been accusing MPs of various misdeameamours recently, including Judith Collins, John Banks and John Key. Yesterday he publicised and released National party documents. He claims:

Every now and again infighting gets so bad in the Nats that some gems are delivered to me. In this case it is a set of their Board and Board committee minutes.

The contents of these documents appear to mainly trivial (to the public) and are quite dated – March 2011 (EDIT the hading shows 2012, the footers 2011) – although they are presented now as a major revelation, as illustrated by what could be a proxy post by Mallard at The Standard:

Nat Civil War: ceasefire breached

Written By: – Date published: 6:35 am, May 9th, 2012

Well, that didn’t take long. A couple of weeks of quiet (probably thanks to some good polls more than anything) and, now, the National Party Civil War has re-erupted as the Collins and Joyce factions fight over the post-Key future. The leaking of National Party board minutes shows how serious the fighting is and reveals strong opposition to Slater/Lusk’s tactics.

This post claims:

It seems someone has leaked National Party board minutes. There can hardly be a greater breach of the party’s security than having that information in the public eye, except for the leaking of the emails of the leader himself.

The leaking itself highlights the level of factional infighting in National, as do the contents.

Apart from them being historical documents being used to suggest current problems (in typical overdone Standard fashion) there are now reports they could be stolen stolen and not leaked:

Secret Nats documents may have been stolen (TV3)

It’s possible the documents were handed to Mallard giving him no indication of how they were obtained. But it will have been obvious to him that they were confidential, they were very clealry marked with:

CONFIDENTIAL. TO BOARD MEMBERS ONLY. NOT TO BE DISTRIBUTED.

Back to ethics. How ethical is it to keep those documents? And to use them in a carefully planned and orchestrated publicity attempt  – I knew this release was imminent over a month ago.

That in itself is highly questionable ethics for anyone, let alone a senior MP.

But it is not just one MP acting alone. Mallard has obviously been involving other’s from Labour in this – including Greg Presland, Chair of the Labour Party’s Auckland-Northland Regional Council, who joins in with:

 Has Banks been training Key how to answer questions about Simon Lusk?

And I also question how ethical it is for the Labour MP run blog Red Alert to have stored on it and made available for public viewing confidential documents obviously belonging to another party.

Hypocrisy is another word that comes to mind – an MP questioning others about their ethics is involved in highly questionable ethics, and also involving the Labour Party directly while doing this.

Important questions for David Shearer:

  1. Is it appropriate for a senior Labour MP to be involved in dealing with leaked and possibly stolen documents?
  2. Isn it appropriate for a Labour MP run website to store and make available to the public documents clealry confidential, clearly belonging to another party, and possible stolen?