Rants, Raves, Reviews

We now know the meaning of 'inconsequential'

By Gary R, in , posted: 22-Nov-2007 10:20

A Masterton man has been sentenced to 9 months supervision for smacking his son three times with an open hand and for bruising the childs shoulder in the process. Aunty Sue is very happy about the outcome. Personally I do not agree with the way this man disciplined his child but it is not up to me or the government for that matter to tell people how they should or should not discipline a child. It seems to me that all the supporters of the 'Anti Smacking' bill who publicly stated that parents who 'smack' their children would not be prosecuted have been proven wrong. Now that this case has passed through the courts the level of what 'inconsequential' truly means has been set. The Police and the Courts now have a base line or minimum set of guidelines to follow. At the very least any parent who smacks a child three times with an open hand risks being charged with assault.

Again, I do not agree with how this man disciplined his child but this man does have my sympathy because he is going to wear the stigma of a conviction for an assault charge for the rest of his life. I wonder why this had to be dragged through the courts in the first place. Why didn't the appropriate government agency offer to give this man positive parenting skills and a warning?

What a bizarre little country we live in when twin boys are murdered over a year ago and there is still no conviction but this man in Masterton is dragged through the courts and convicted quick smart.


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Comment by mobygeek, on 22-Nov-2007 11:48

Well, thankfully my kids are past the smacking stage.... I believe in smacking, before losing your temper. My 21 year old daughter believes in smacking. (The others have not been canvassed for their opinions.) Whether this guy did wrong by my standards is another story. How does he feel about his wife taking photos and showing them around? Is this the beginning of another single parent family? And what's the difference between this single parent family and another, where the 'father' murders his twin sons?

Comment by TinyTim, on 22-Nov-2007 14:16

I agree - while what this guy did was probably beyond a bit of a smack (I hope the conviction was for the shoulder and not the smacking on the bottom) - why couldn't he have had just a warning or made to learn some skills? The article says he has an anger problem - is a conviction the way to solve the problem?

Our whole society is turning into one of fear, where law abiding citizens live in fear of making a simple mistake that will cost them dearly, perhaps for the rest of their lives - whether it's accidently going over the speed limit, forgetting to pay a power bill, staying too long in a Wilson's Car Park, and so on... this is just another example.

Comment by freitasm, on 22-Nov-2007 17:30

The lost point is what Jama says: people being tried for murder seem to be getting less than someone who smacked. Shameful.

Comment by dave, on 22-Nov-2007 20:37

Ive wirtten about this on http://big-news.blogspot.com and will note that the police did not prosecute because of a smack, they prosecuted because of the initial bruise which would have been unlawful assault irrespective of whether teh S59 bill passed or not.

Comment by TinyTim, on 23-Nov-2007 10:11

Supervision is about the lightest sentence that can be given - effectively his biggest punishment is the conviction itself. You can be sure than when the twin boys case reaches its conclusion, the sentence will reflect the crime.

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