“The Sentencing Act needs a complete overhaul to ensure we start seeing judges handing down appropriate sentences," says
Darroch Ball co-leader of Sensible Sentencing Trust.
“The sentencing of nine months home detention today for a man who neglected and abused a child over a sustained period -
including breaking the child’s leg – is simply unbelievable."
“It seems every other day there is yet another example of our system failing to give appropriate sentences to serious
and violent offenders."
“Dean Ross Gray was sentenced to just nine months home detention after demonstrably abusing and neglecting a
four-year-old boy for years. This included constantly leaving bruises, breaking the boy’s leg, kicking the child in the
head, and failing to feed him. When Oranga Tamariki finally uplifted the boy, he had two black eyes, extensive bruising
over his back, and left and right thighs, and hips and bottom, and some bruising on his arms and stomach. He was also
“The judge indicated that prison sentence was justified – but instead gave home detention because of Gray’s “own
“It just seems so frustratingly outrageous that we have such a huge problem of child abuse in our country, and still our
courts are treating this kind of despicable level of offending as a joke," says Mr Ball.
“Our system is failing in providing the fundamentals of a justice system – justice, accountability, and safety of the
“Instead, it seems the rights and considerations of the offender come first, second, and third."
“If our courts are going to continue to be so out of touch and continue to fail to do their job properly, then
legislation needs to be brought in to ensure judges start handing down appropriate sentences for these despicable