INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt urged to see sense on home invasion

Published: Wed 23 Jun 1999 12:33 AM
Labour justice spokesperson Phil Goff is urging the Government and the independent MPs who prop it up, to support a more sensible response to the public's concern over crimes in the home.
"The Government's Crimes (Home Invasion) Amendment Bill is a nonsense. Today I will present a Supplementary Order Paper which outlines a much simpler and less anomalous change to the law.
"Judges will be required when sentencing a violent offender to regard it as a serious aggravating factor if the offence was committed in the victim's home, or on the property on which the home is situated.
"This approach is in line with the advice offered to the Select Committee by Crown Prosecutor and Law Commissioner member, Tim Brewer.
"It covers all violent offences in your home or on your property. A father who betrays the trust of his children and repeatedly rapes his young daughter, will be subject to the same penalty regime as the intruder who attacks the child.
"Under National's flawed legislation, the father faces a maximum penalty that is five years less than the stranger.
"The man who murdered Christopher Crean by shooting him through the glass front door of his New Plymouth home would not have been considered a "home invader" by the Government. Under my amendment, he would be.
"The Government's approach creates dozens of bizarre anomalies which would make our sentencing law a farce.
"Sir Douglas Graham has acknowledged the bill is flawed and will do nothing to deter criminals. Labour is now offering him and the other Government MPs a chance to support a sensible approach that is far more effective in recognising the sanctity of the home," Mr Goff said.

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