Friday, November 23, 2007

Bradford incorrectly says latest smacking case shows anti-smacking legislation is working

Most people who read this blog ( and so far today thats 800 of you) are aware that I have been opposed to the anti-smacking legislation. However I am also opposed to child abuse, and from what I know about the latest assault conviction - which is as much as Sue Bradford, it appears, and Russell Brown , this person would have been convicted of assault had he been charged before the anti-smacking bill was passed - which is pretty much what Social Development minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The difference is that now there is no defence of reasonable force. Yet the force used to bruise this child, it appears, was not reasonable, so any reasonable force defence would not have been upheld for the brusing - but may well have been for the smacking. So there still would have likely been a conviction.

Unfortunately Brown and Bradford are so blinkered that they don`t realise this - especially Bradford. Bradford said it seemed to be an example of the law being implemented just as MPs who supported the bill intended. Note the word "seemed" In other words she doesnt know, so she is speaking from ignorance.

This case does not show that the anti-smacking legislation is working. Based on the media reports, it indicates that it is irrelevant in this particular case - despitre certain comments from the judge alluding to smacking - as the man concerned got prosecuted for bruising his son, not for smacking him. No bruise, no prosecution. Others have been convicted before the smacking legislation for parental smacking that caused brusiing - this case appears worse as the bruising was an assault before the smacking occurred, and had the bruising occurred but not the smacking, the outcome in court should have been the same even if a reasonable force defence was used.

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Blogger FamilyIntegrity said...

"and had the bruising occurred but not the smacking, the outcome in court should have been the same even if a reasonable force defence was used."

But would it have come to the court if he had not smacked the child?

November 22, 2007 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

I dont see any reason why not, if the woman followed the same procedures after the boy got bruised.

November 22, 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Dave, I make a similar point too with my post, and take it one step further: Sue has been careful to blame smacking, rather than the anger issue.

That's like a parent locking the child in a cupboard for a day and Sue banning Time Outs.

Further detail here: And it continues

November 22, 2007 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this case the man pleaded guilty, so you are correct, section 59 would obviously not apply.

But from what I understand, "reasonable force" has been used successfully as a defence in far worse cases of abuse, and this was one of the reasons that so many mainstream family and welfare organisations had been lobbying for years to have it repealed.

For examples of cases see

November 23, 2007 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Swimming said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 23, 2007 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

Steve, care to name a case that is "far worse" in the past three or four years?

November 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

.. um, that someone got off?

November 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM  

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