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In a press conference, held before the 16 year old suspect in the Turangi camp site case appeared in court this afternoon, the detective in charge of the investigation made a comment about New Zealand society.
It was reported on by the Daily Post, who wrote:
“New Zealand society needs to take a good look at itself, says officers working on the Turangi assault.
Detective Inspector Mark Loper, who is in charge of the investigation into the attack on a 5-year-old girl at a Turangi camp ground, spoke at press conference this afternoon, before a 16-year-old was due to appear in Taupo District Court.
Mr Loper said New Zealand society needed to take a good look at itself…” more here
Police have said they will ask that bail be refused after the youth was accompanied to the police station by a relative yesterday.
This is just one of many violent assaults in recent years linked to young men and women in New Zealand society.
Update 15 January 2012: Parents plead for a fair ruling
The Belgian parents of the raped child have expressed their concern at the judge’s handling of the offender (who said he will not defend charges of rape, burglary and grievous bodily harm via sexual violation) after the trial judge praised the 16 year youth for dressing well for court and supposedly writing a nice poem in which he asked God to “make him a man.” The injured child’s parents have asked for a fair ruling on their case
We say if this youth wants to be a man he should leave God out of it. Stow the poems, square up to the full face of the law and accept a man’s punishment for the terrible crimes he has inflicted on this family and their sleeping child.
Any perceived leniency by the courts will be seen as implicit consent for any hot- blooded thug to prey on whomever they wish, knowing that a clean suit and a well written poem is going to get them off doing jail time.
An outpouring of support, teddy bears and financial donations from the public is not enough to salve New Zealand’s conscience in this case, it is vitally important that justice is done and seen to be done, the world is watching. New Zealand needs to stand up, take a look at itself and “be a man” too.
Phillip Cottrell, Karen Aim
Some of the most high profile recent criminal cases involving visitors to New Zealand have included the the assault and killing of Scottish journalist Phillip Cottrell (a 17 and 19 year old are accused of that crime) and Scottish tourist Karen Aim, who was bludgeoned to death in Taupo by a 14 year old boy in an apparently motiveless attack. Her family are still searching for reasons, as are we all for all these senseless crimes.
This appeared in The Scotsman recently:
THE parents of a New Zealand teenager who murdered Scottish tourist Karen Aim have come under fire from the coroner carrying out the inquest into the case for not keeping an eye on their son.
Ms Aim, 27, from the Orkney Islands, was battered with a baseball bat just yards from her home in New Zealand in January 2008 by 14-year-old Jache Broughton…
At the inquest yesterday, coroner Dr Wallace Bain said: “At the bottom of it all is the lack of parental supervision. It has completely failed in this case.”
He added: “That Karen Aim had felt safe enough to walk alone and then be attacked near her home, and treated with indignities by a young man, is just awful and sends an awful message overseas of New Zealand…
Ms Aim’s parents chose not to attend the inquest.
However, a family friend who represented them told how the couple longed to know why Broughton committed the brutal murder.
Mr Aim agreed with Dr Bain’s judgment that a lack of supervision by Broughton’s parents had contributed to the murder.
Mr Bain reserved his findings but intimated his report would be critical of the teenager being allowed to roam alone late at night. He also questioned whether Broughton was high on drugs or drunk at the time.
Mr Bain added: “No rational, normal person could have done this without being away with the fairies or on something.”
It will be a tragic set of circumstances if the same factors are at play in the attack on the five year old girl in Turangi and on Mr Cottrell.
Were talking about a serious lack of parental supervision, the misuse of use of alcohol or drugs and dysfunctional behaviour in young New Zealanders, some of whom are inexorably drawn towards the glamour of organised gangs, of which New Zealand has plenty.
How many times do these awful crimes have to be repeated before New Zealanders face up to this problem and deal with it, enough is enough. Its time to face the facts.
Surely it can’t be that hard. This is supposed to be a great place to raise kids, with one of the best standards of living in the world and a small population of just under 4.5 million.
Ranginui Rahi, 18 and Mark Hati, 16 the two youths who pleaded guilty to the rape of a 22 year old Japanese tourist in Opotiki, in the eastern Bay of Plenty, have both been sentenced to 9 years in prison for rape and aggravated buglary.
The two armed offenders broke into the Ford Street house in August and attacked the woman whilst her host family sat in another room watching television.
Mark Hati was said to have aspirations to become a patched member of the Mongrel Mob and expects to be accepted once his sentence has been served. Of course, the Mob may not exist by then which will be no sad loss for New Zealand, or the long suffering residents of Opotiki… more here
Sex and other crimes among children
12 Children were apprehended for sexual assault in the 2008-2009 financial year, including a five-year-old child and two six-year-olds
Over the same period, 716 Children were reprimanded by police. The youngest included a four-year-old girl, two five-year-old girls and five five-year-old boys, for dishonesty offences (shoplifting, burglary or theft of property valued under $500)
Undercurrent of brutality
Lastly, a quote from “HEAR OUR VOICES” by Save the Children, NZ:
Aotearoa/ New Zealand has;
- A problem with gangs that are contributing to crime and abuse in the home. Young people are joining gangs for safety and are becoming victims of gang life.
- A problem with bullying – particularly of specific groups like refugee and migrant young people.
- A problem with child abuse which is not just statistics or features in death notices in newspapers but a reality that many of the young story tellers knew and experienced.
- An issue with domestic violence affecting the lives of many children and young people.”