Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Living with the psychopath

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  • DexterX, in reply to Stewart,

    I find it a little distressing that some people seem to feel they can make sweeping judgements on judicial matters when all they know of the case is what they have seen & heard in the media.

    Being a free citizen in a democracy I feel I am entitled to express a point of view and what I am saying is not a “sweeping judgement” as much as it may gall many of those who consider Hall to be a victim of the system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    As you're the one advocating a prison sentence for Hall, shouldn't you be spruiking the benefit? From my limited experience of such things I can't see how placing someone who's demonstrably immature and poorly educated into an academy for criminality is going to benefit anyone.

    Home detention in response to a crime of the nature Hall carried out over a four-month period, as I said before, places children and the harm they suffer at a lower rung than that of adults. This is the basis of my objection to the sentence.

    I also feel that an aspect, which may well have warranted a consideration, is the sentence rendered was the one that would have the least likelihood of being subject to appeal. With regard to sentencing (and although not published) is that “there is a going rate” in operation at times.

    One benefit of Hall serving a prison sentence is that it enables those involved in the care of the child to get on with things whilst he is inside. Prison isn’t entirely punitive it is after all managed by the Dept of Corrections.

    The offending against the infant occurred over a lnghtly time and it was hidden - Hall originally pleaded not guilty – Hall is taking an action against his former employer for unjustifiable dismissal – He knows how to work the angles to his benefit.

    I feel the sentence is an anomaly and manifestly inadequate - that is my view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to DexterX,

    I feel the sentence is an anomaly and manifestly inadequate – that is my view.

    The one thing that bothers me most is, the extent of injuries suggest to me he is more than woefully inadequate. Breaking anyone’s bones, and especially a 4 month old ( plus the wee ones older injuries)should require some serious psychiatric assessment and ongoing monitoring and not just by a proby officer, and that is my view.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to DexterX,

    One benefit of Hall serving a prison sentence is that it enables those involved in the care of the child to get on with things whilst he is inside. Prison isn’t entirely punitive it is after all managed by the Dept of Corrections.

    I'd assumed that the circumstances of Hall's home detention would be such that he'd have no contact with his victim, much as if he were incarcerated. As for the implied rehabilitative nature of a prison sentence, in the absence of any real evidence, aren't we expected to extend a similar level of faith to Corrections' expertise as those who scorn our right to comment on this case are applying to the wisdom of the trial judge?

    That said, I'm far from comfortable with the argument that just because the media coverage of this case happens to be shallow and sensationalist nobody outside of the judiciary has a right to so much as express disquiet about the sentence.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The exntent of the suffering - the prolonged nature - you reckoning is more than right and really where a just outcome would sit - psychiatric assessment and treatment of Hall on an ongoing basis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I can't even describe how I feel about sexual offenders. They make me shake with anger. One of my dearest friends lived with one, for a time. Until he was found out, and sent to prison. He only did the STOP programme after release. Whereupon she took him back for a while more, until he started on his old tricks. This after a STOP programme which lasted, I believe, about six months. He was considered "cured". He was not. I have no faith in these programmes and I believe that Murray Wilson should be kept away from society forever. People like this do unbelieveable amounts of damage to others. In the community where I work, there are sexual offenders who roam free every day because no-one ever holds them accountable - I know, because I teach the children they have damaged. If they ever get to prison, they should stay there. Those are my views.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    In the community where I work, there are sexual offenders who roam free every day because no-one ever holds them accountable – I know, because I teach the children they have damaged...... Those are my views.

    So, can you pass on this info Jackie. Keep telling the Police your concerns if you know. I urge you to confront the parents. I have confronted people, one, who abused my friend, and a stranger. One of them put me in a ditch with a king hit (to my jaw, actually, my nose is bent???). Didn't stop me. I'll do it any time I see that sort of thing.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    these aren't our parents, Sof - they are grey people living in the shadows, who everyone knows about but you never hear their names mentioned

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    who everyone knows about but you never hear their names mentioned

    Ok , I know what you mean. I don't know what is the answer for this man. We have PD now so at least the likes of him will be now incarcerated forever and will he and the consequent Mayoral lynch mob have been the catalyst to console a large group of society?. Are we proceeding in the correct direction?
    I feel like I am starting to understand these fundamentalist groups but yet again I cant get behind them because I think they are ignorant. They lump everything into the same basketcase. My experience with many types of people has taught me to get my facts straight and have compassion for our imperfect society. Still, just my opinion, and yours works for you and we are lucky ,and you're just cool :))

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    This after a STOP programme which lasted, I believe, about six months. He was considered “cured”. He was not. I have no faith in these programmes

    Well, that’s up to you I suppose. But an actual study of outcomes from STOP and two other programmes found an average recidivism rate of 8.1% (5.2% for those who completed the programme) – that’s half the rate from the standard probationary approach, and as good any similar programme in the world.

    The man you’re talking about wasn’t regarded as cured, simply as having completed the programme. These things are measured by their success after 5, 10 or 20 years. He was the 1 in 20 who completed the programme and re-offended.

    STOP also works with adolescents who have sexually abused and children 10-12 displaying sexualised behaviour. In both those groups it’s perhaps easier to draw a connection between being a victim and perpetrator of abuse.

    Would you deny them this treatment because you have “no faith” in it Jackie? Would you lock them up for the rest of their lives? Those damaged kids you care for, – what say they go on to abuse? Would you lock them up for the rest of their lives? Or would you want them to have a chance to repair themselves?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    That said, I’m far from comfortable with the argument that just because the media coverage of this case happens to be shallow and sensationalist nobody outside of the judiciary has a right to so much as express disquiet about the sentence.

    I don't think anyone's saying that and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. But there were some very sweeping statements being made upthread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don't think anyone's saying that and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. But there were some very sweeping statements being made upthread.

    Russell I'm sorry if I've implied that you did, but there are a couple of posts upthread that come across as needlessly condescending to what are probably genuine sentiments. I know from the fortunately rare but nonetheless very unpleasant experiences of people close to me that the kind of concerns that feed the likes of Sensible Sentencing are fueled by rather more immediate issues than the media and common prejudice.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    STOP also works with adolescents who have sexually abused and children 10-12 displaying sexualised behaviour. In both those groups it’s perhaps easier to draw a connection between being a victim and perpetrator of abuse.
    Would you deny them this treatment because you have “no faith” in it Jackie? Would you lock them up for the rest of their lives? Those damaged kids you care for, – what say they go on to abuse? Would you lock them up for the rest of their lives? Or would you want them to have a chance to repair themselves?

    This is twists the "context" or what I feel is Jackie's POV – having no faith in a thing and being on ones guard for the benefit of others is what come across to me – not as you are saying denying treatment opportunities to child victims and offenders aged 10 to 12 years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Forgive me if I don't reply to this for a few days. I am unable to formulate a reasoned response quite yet. I have been thinking about it, though.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DexterX,

    This is twists the “context” or what I feel is Jackie’s POV – having no faith in a thing and being on ones guard for the benefit of others is what come across to me – not as you are saying denying treatment opportunities to child victims and offenders aged 10 to 12 years.

    I have absolutely no doubt about Jackie's concern for others, or her awareness of those in her care.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Russell I’m sorry if I’ve implied that you did, but there are a couple of posts upthread that come across as needlessly condescending to what are probably genuine sentiments. I

    I'm sure they'e genuine sentiments, but to be honest I've been a bit shocked by a few things said in this thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DexterX,

    Being a free citizen in a democracy I feel I am entitled to express a point of view and what I am saying is not a “sweeping judgement” as much as it may gall many of those who consider Hall to be a victim of the system.

    But no one said that either. But I genuinely don't think a single instance of sentencing like this one can bear the weight of too many generalisations.

    As regards sweeping statements, I was more thinking of Gudrun's declaration that "these individuals" offend because "the consequence is almost nonexistent". I honestly don't believe that to be true.

    I've written and read a bit about this over the years; most notably the studies by Judy McGregor matching perceptions of crime and punishment against the expansion of crime news as a proportion of total news in the media. People thought crime was increasing (it was falling) and sentences were becoming steadily lighter (the opposite was true). This has consequences.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Apparently Wilson's lawyer said on Radio Live this morning that his client would rather be in prison now because he feared being attacked.

    On the one hand, this would solve a problem. On the other, it would validate vigilante violence as a solution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    On the one hand, this would solve a problem. On the other, it would validate vigilante violence as a solution.

    If he was back in mainstream prison ,he would also be attacked as is inmate justice. The odd code that exists inside would see him in a situation befitting his treatment of his victims.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    How to get people to admit to their offending, or even see that they have done something wrong, is a complex issue. I’ve heard of another situation whereby a man apparently grooms girls with intellectual impairment through developing a relationship with their single mothers. Was convicted for something relating to internet paedophile images, but has permanent name suppression (perhaps because of powerful people in the right places). Situation seems to be that man and his family blame everyone but the man involved.
    [Russell, I hope this is vague enough not to breach anything]

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3113 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    People thought crime was increasing (it was falling) and sentences were becoming steadily lighter (the opposite was true).

    So if we're to congratulate ourselves on being above those kinds of delusions, we're likely to be more tolerant of real crime because, hey. it's declining, and each case is one less we have to worry about?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This has consequences.

    Crime state are based on reporeted rather than actual. Crime rates are a long run politically manipulated stat - an example being more resources are put into policing and the crime stat goes up - fewer resoruces are applied and the crime stat goes down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    has permanent name suppression (perhaps because of powerful people in the right places)

    More likely because identifying him would lead to people "in the know" identifying his possible victims. The privacy of victims of sexual offending is paramount, especially where children (you speak of girls) are involved.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4091 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    So if we’re to congratulate ourselves on being above those kinds of delusions, we’re likely to be more tolerant of real crime because, hey. it’s declining, and each case is one less we have to worry about?

    We (royally) are less likely to call for harsher sentences and more prisons if we're not living under the delusion that things are getting worse. If what's being done is working, we don't need to keep on tightening the screws as some kind of deterrent.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4091 posts Report Reply

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