The thug involved in a racist and savage street attack on two Korean citizens last August has finally been made to answer for his actions in court (see article below)
The defence council asked for the sentence to be reduced to two years so that home detention could be used (despite a previous failure to serve a community service sentence) saying that a prison sentence could be to the determent of her client. However, the judge was having none of that nonsense and was intent on sending out a stern message that racist street violence was not going to be tolerated in Christchurch.
This is not the first time we’ve highlighted racist attacks in Christchurch, nor is it likely to be the last. This incident is very similar to one we wrote about in February when 2 Japanese students were attacked by a gang of skinheads as they waited at a bus stop. As far as we know no-one has been charged with that assault.
That assault drew a fair amount of contempt from the readers of Stuff who are very eager to talk about the issue of racism in Christchurch, allegedly a “haven for Neo-Nazis due to the lack of competition from other gangs”. At the time we mentioned that police in New Zealand still don’t/won’t collect data on racially motivated crimes, it is very hard to know the true extent of this problem both in Christchurch and throughout the country.
A street robbery in which racial slurs were used against the two Korean victims has led to a two-year three-month jail term for an 18-year-old offender.
…About 9.30pm on August 28, the two teenagers left a party to catch a bus but noticed two Koreans at the bus stop. Witnesses suggested the two robbers paid attention to the victims because they were speaking a foreign language.They approached them and demanded money. Gittings took a $5 note from one of the victims’ pockets, and took a cellphone, and punched both victims. One of them received several blows.
Judge Radford described it as a prolonged attack, which even involved pursuing the victims a short distance.
The victims described the attack as upsetting and alarming. Crown prosecutor Marcus Zintl said the violence had not stopped, even when members of the public intervened, and racial slurs had been used during the incident.
Defence counsel Serina Bailey urged the judge to reduce the sentence to a two-year level where a home detention sentence could be imposed. This would mean Gittings was not left “festering” at Christchurch Men’s Prison at Paparua. “Who knows how he might come out?”
But Judge Radford said the behaviour had been extremely aggressive. “And I take into account that there was racial hostility, motivated in part by your perceived dislike of these people. There is a need to condemn street violence in every form…” read the full article here
Everyday race hate rife in Christchurch – 3 Sept 2009
“An attack on a Thai girl, who was beaten up by fellow pupils on a bus, is part of everyday “race hate” in Christchurch, a homestay parent says.
Paul Stratford said the Avonside Girls’ High School pupil arrived at his house distressed and covered in blood after being beaten up on the bus after school on Monday.
The assault comes after a South Korean pupil had a knife held to his throat and was kicked to the ground in an unprovoked attack at a Christchurch bus stop last week…”
Covert Racial Prejudice commonplace in NZ – 12 November 2009
“A MAORI Party boss says hidden racism is rife in New Zealand.
Co-vice president Heta Hingston said fellow Maori Party member Hone Harawira’s email rant against Pakeha was no worse than “covert” racial prejudice commonplace throughout the country. “That email, I wouldn’t want to say [if it was racist],” Hingston, a retired Maori Land Court judge, told Sunday News.
“I can concede it is offensive to some people – nobody would deny that. But racism … in New Zealand, is covert. Very few of the ardent anti-Maori, anti-Islander, anti-Asian front up.”