Parent finally prosecuted for light smacking
Was told twice today that a parent has been prosecuted for smacking. A father got diversion for giving his kid smacks on bum with his hand after his child was naughty at school. Was told there will be a story in tomorrows paper - and will link to it tomorrow.
UPDATE The article is here. He was actully sentenced to nine months supervision, so the state is going to pay for counselling that was arranged before the conviction. Green MP Sue Bradford has welcomed the conviction, saying the case is a good example of the May law change working as intended. However the only reason the case went to court was because the woman told a relative that the boy had a bruise on his shoulder and that relative told the police. It will be interesting to see what others think because it wil lead to some debate.
What I`d like to know is if the child had bruising on his shoulder, and the smack was on the bum, was he convicted because of the bruise or because of the smack, given that it was the bruise the parent was reported for. If it was because of the bruise when he grabbed his son, the smack was not what he was convicted for and he should have been convicted under the law before the passage of anti-smacking legislation. Furthermore, the paper's headline would be incorrect and if the smacking link had to be made, it should have been "Man's counselling now free after smacking, and Bradfords comments would be based on ignorance.
If the man was convicted for the smacks on the bum, thats a disgrace. The only way to find out is by getting all the court records, something that lobby group Family First should probably be doing now.
But you can bet the police report that is coming out on smacking won't say much about it. That report was requested over a month ago and the OIA request is now with the Ombudsman.
UPDATE The NZ Herald story here has been updated at least four times today. I Just want to make it clear that the counselling was not for the smacking, it was counselling for anger management and apparent marital difficulties. That is now going to be paid for by the taxpayer. I am confident that this case would have been a conviction before the rewrite of Section 59 of the Crimes Act. This is not a case to prove that the new law is working, despite the sentencing judge's comments. Had there been no bruise, there probably would have been no conviction.
NB initial blog first paragraph was written last night (21/11), hence the apparent erroneous title..
Labels: section 59