Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Angry and thrilled about Arie

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    I don’t think there is a strict requirement to admit guilt: ``Note that a guilty plea (either entered or intimated) in court must not be a prerequisite nor a bar for diversion.’’ (Hall’s sentencing quoting police adult diversion scheme policy.)

    Diversion isn't an admission of guilt by my understanding, Diversion never reaches the guilty/not-guilty stage. It's literally a diversion before you get to that stage of the court process.

    But I think you have to reach agreement over the summary of facts. When I got diversion that's what the lawyer put before me and I had to agree to as well as paying the donation/doing the community service. So Arie and the police would have to agree on the document that the police write about what happened.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to izogi,

    What matters here is that due to Arie's condition, there's a very good case to argue that he wasn't reasoning the same way as a normal person could be expected to. He wasn't there for the same reasons as a typical looter, and really wasn't the kind of criminal everyone was so apprehensive about or associates with post-disaster fear at all. Pushing on with the case like this just seems kind'a dumb.

    Or, to put it another way, there was no Mens rea, which is going to make conviction difficult in practice.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    But I think you have to reach agreement over the summary of facts. When I got diversion that's what the lawyer put before me and I had to agree to as well as paying the donation/doing the community service. So Arie and the police would have to agree on the document that the police write about what happened.

    Which would not include an assault by police. If he signs that, he signs away any chance of pressing charges.

    And that's why the police are pushing this: they're driving a hard bargain, trying to protect their own, and their reputation. The problem is that under these circumstances, any denial of an assault simply looks coerced, and is therefore valueless.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    there was no Mens rea, which is going to make conviction difficult in practice

    Could that be the issue the police lawyers are gagging to test in court? Something about capacity, anyway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    If he signs that, he signs away any chance of pressing charges.
    And that's why the police are pushing this: they're driving a hard bargain

    Unlikely. It was reported Arie had already agreed to such an arrangement before it was refused by the Police, as Russell noted above (and on the earlier thread).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Or, to put it another way, there was no Mens rea, which is going to make conviction difficult in practice.

    Arie entered a building he knew he wasn't allowed to, with the intent of taking light fittings he knew he wasn't allowed to. I don't think that's really in dispute. That also fits with the definition of burglary: to enter or remain in a building without authority with intent to commit a crime. Obvious I'm not his lawyer, so I don't know what will be argued in court & I have no real knowledge of the criminal law beyond what you can learn in half an hour's research with nifty databases, but I doubt that there's an issue over mens rea here. I very very much could be wrong.

    I think the reason the cops are pushing this is that they are, to put it bluntly, wankers.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1395 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Islander,

    OK, my pants weigh about 5 kilo, but I am secure & happy steppin' out in 'em...

    I eventually switched to a man-bag, once I realized I kept going through too many pants pockets. It was very hard to find an appropriate one, women have such an enormous range, but I had to find something "manly". In the end, I've settled for something that looks like a camera bag. Sounds like it's got all the same stuff as your pants, but a few more child specific things, nappies, wipes, small toys, etc. The good thing about the bag is that it saves the pockets - I keep wallet and keys in there, and used to keep phone, right up until the latest one, from which I am inseparable.

    and hey, isnt that the point? High-functioning weirdos like me, who do contribute, one way or the other , may need such self-organised re-assurances. No harm done to anyone...*

    Well, one day, that Leatherman could save a life, too. You never know. I've found the device most frequently used in my bag apart from wallet and keys is the tape-measure. Weird, schmeird. I call it practical.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Well hearing about the other cases and general ignorant attitude, this could be what is driving the Police.Hope Arie doesn't get that Judge!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Christchurch cops are now referring journalists to their statement about the case last week, which offers this justification from Erasmus for the continued refusal of diversion:

    "One of the fundamental requirements of the diversion process is that the offender needs to be able to make an informed admission of guilt"

    Huh? Hasn’t this been acknowledged, both formally and informally, right from the beginning? Did Erasmus bother watching the Sunday programme he’s now making subject to “criminal investigation”?

    Unless I’m missing something, this seems insane.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Unless I’m missing something, this seems insane.

    More likely just casually ableist - an assumption that Arie is incapable of making an "informed admission of guilt", that he's just saying what he's told to say. I'd prefer insanity, on the whole.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    More likely just casually ableist – an assumption that Arie is incapable of making an “informed admission of guilt”, that he’s just saying what he’s told to say. I’d prefer insanity, on the whole.

    It did occur to me that that might be what they were saying. And then I thought, surely not.

    It seems more likely to me that it's just another excuse for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    If Aspergers, ADHD, is of no consideration and a Police Minister wanting convicted “sharing a cell” then, I suggest the police are doing what their Police Minister wants. She wants to make an example of what it means to throw the blue book at them and The judge is handing down unprecedented convictions to show (National no empathy mantra) that he is ” TOUGH ON CRIME!"

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It seems more likely to me that it’s just another excuse for them.

    But it's such a terribly and patently bad excuse, I can't get my head around the level of brain-death and/or incompetency needed to come up with it. Although the old saying about malice and stupidity applies, I suppose.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    More likely just casually ableist – an assumption that Arie is incapable of making an “informed admission of guilt”, that he’s just saying what he’s told to say. I’d prefer insanity, on the whole.

    Seems to me that you're giving more credit than is actually due. "Casual ableism" at least implies some degree of thought, however witless it may be. Every time Derek Erasmus opens his mouth, I picture a red-faced, truculent toddler who doesn't give a number two what the adults trying to reason with him are saying.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Christchurch cops are now referring journalists to their statement about the case last week, which offers this justification from Erasmus for the continued refusal of diversion:

    It also contains this rather creepy gem:

    Inspector Erasmus says he has personally spoken today to the owners of the property which was allegedly burgled, and says they are happy with the Police handling of the case to date. "They have advised they are more than happy for the case to proceed to court which is where they believe the matter should be resolved."

    Sorry, but did you get the impression from Sunday that they were at all "happy with the Police handling of the case to date"? And I don't mean to be at all condescending to Andrew and Irene Matsis, but I'd find a personal visit from a District Police Commander ever so slightly intimidating. Especially when I was being pressured to try and get a story I'd participated in -- and which is now under "criminal investigation" -- pulled off air.

    Is Derek Erasmus trying to become the New Zealand Police's answer to Alisdair Thompson?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One final observation: I've seen no evidence that Christchurch District Court Judge John Strettell's eleven years on the bench has been an orgy of wet-liberal criminal-coddling judicial activism. Could it be possible that he might just know what the frig he was talking about when he repeatedly suggested the Police offer diversion?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    From the Police statement on Scoop.

    Inspector Erasmus says under the Police Adult Diversion Policy the defendant had the right to have the decision reviewed. This was done at a district level and later confirmed by Police Prosecution Service, at National Headquarters and the decision stands.

    If the decision not to grant a diversion is coming from National headquarters - then local Police have referred it up the chain and don't have much of say – I won’t comment further on the local police behaviour, which speaks for itself.

    The insane hard line might well be a Ministerial directive – it could be a blanket directive – no diversion for burglary during this time.

    So we can be glad we live in a democracy with an independent judiciary and await a sensible decision to put it to bed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1210 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It did occur to me that that might be what they were saying. And then I thought, surely not.

    'Capacity' of both parties, perhaps?

    Unless I’m missing something, this seems insane.

    Keeping us safe by locking us up. Doubleplusgood.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I've heard hints that there might be an official (and uninformed) assumption that Arie needs 'treatment' ie a chemical straightjacket in a forensic unit. No - he needs a discharge, an ordinary life and a job.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I’ve heard hints that there might be an official (and uninformed) assumption that Arie needs ‘treatment’ ie a chemical straightjacket in a forensic unit. No – he needs a discharge, an ordinary life and a job.

    [Shudder]

    If this is true, then there’s a much bigger fight to be had.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I could be really nasty and suggest that the only person in this tawdry affair who needs a chemical straightjacket is Derek Erasmus, but it’s unreasonable to presume any neurological deficit, biochemical imbalance or psychiatric disorder on his part. Applying Occam’s razor, sheer bloody-mindedness does the job.

    If this is true, then there’s a much bigger fight to be had.

    And not really looking forward to the trial, because if that’s the mindset in play with the prosecution/Police, I suspect Arie Smith-Voorkamp can expect a full-on character assassination. Hey, he’s a dangerous nutter - and probably assaulted himself too. :(

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Applying Occam’s razor, sheer bloody-mindedness does the job.

    But uninformed overprotectiveness wins.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • WaterDragon, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    and that is the point

    Behind you • Since Jul 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    With the fuss over a couple of lighbulbs there don't appear to have been any developments over this vanishing act. Interesting that the demolition company's glib disclaimer that an item of that size and value could have been inadvertently dumped goes unchallenged. It looked pretty hard to miss back in February.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3627 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Highly valuable. When my Dad had his brass stolen, he hounded Demo yards, Metal workers, and scrap metal yards. Vanished. The only info coming anywhere close to locating it was a crim knowing it's whereabouts and who pinched it, but through the grapevine mentioned he wanted money to give it back. All about the money. So that remained gone forever as a consequence, and many of his rings to never be made.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

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