What does it take to not get bail?

June 8th, 2008 at 6:44 am by David Farrar

There is a legitimate debate about when someone does or does not get , as people are innocent until found guilty. But as it can take well over a year for someone to come to trial, you need some ability to protect the community until the trial, if there is a significant risk of further offending.

Now I can’t think of much of a better case for no bail than this one of :

  • Found with 30 guns including sniper rifles, pistols and an AK47
  • Charged with careless use of a firearm and engendering public safety after aiming laser sights all day at various people on boats
  • A gun with laser sights was found in an insecure state, with rounds in the magazine
  • Several other fully loaded magazines were found
  • Has a previous conviction for running over a paua driver in his boat

So he has a history of harming others, he has 30 guns in his house, some of them are loaded, and he spends his nights aiming them at people with the laser sights. Yep a perfect candidate for bail.

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18 Responses to “What does it take to not get bail?”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Calm down, David. While I don’t disagree on your theme, you might like to know a rifle is loaded when there is a round in the breach, not the magazine. Not just a minor detail.

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  2. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    “…and he spends his nights aiming them at people with the laser sights.”

    this too is an assumption. The Police say the laser was not mounted on any weapon. Since there were magazines and bullets casually strewn about the place, I doubt the guy would have thought: “gee, better take this off the rifle ‘case I’m searched and the Police put two and two together.” He may be dangerous, but he doesn’t appear to be smart.

    Repeat after me:

    “My party of choice may be turning into emos, but I will not”

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  3. dad4justice (8,224 comments) says:

    Why worry, as liberal judges bail homicidal maniacs every week and no one blinks an eye lid.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    There is a legitimate debate about when someone does or does not get bail, as people are innocent until found guilty.

    Not in this case there isn’t. This guy has pleaded guilty.

    But as it can take well over a year for someone to come to trial, you need some ability to protect the community until the trial, if there is a significant risk of further offending.

    You’ve pretty much got this backwards. The longer until trial, the greater the risk needs to be before you’d want to lock someone up. Hell, if every trial was within two weeks, you could probably refuse bail to just about anyone charged with an offence involving punishment via prison. A year or longer in jail for an innocent person is a much more serious imposition.

    In this case I’m a little surprised that he got bail because he’s pleaded guilty, but this generally implies one thing: he has a pretty good chance of not being sentenced to prison. Your suggestion that this guy is a significant risk of further offending seems unlikely – if he was, he wouldn’t have got bail (least of all after he’s pleaded guilty). I suppose that fact that he no longer has any guns or lasers might have been a factor in this. Who the hell is he going to harm? And how?

    Moving on from the facts of this case (assume we’re now talking about pre-conviction bail). Endangering public safety carries a maximum three month term – bail is automatic unless there is a previous conviction (and highly, highly likely even if there isn’t). The Arms Act charges are 3 years max. Bail’s not a right, but still very likely: Tame Iti et. al. are evidence of this. Serious charges, sure, but not that serious – and prison is far from certain without previous semi-serious offending.

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  5. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    What I remember is that a firearm in stages three and higher was considered loaded- but perhaps military and legal concepts are different. I’d consider a firearm with a loaded magazine to be loaded, and would consider the bearer a valid target.

    Stage Zero: No magazine loaded, no round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “safe”.
    Stage One: Drill magazine loaded, no round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “safe”.
    Stage Two: Empty magazine loaded, no round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “safe”.
    Stage Three: Loaded magazine loaded, no round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “safe”.
    Stage Four: Loaded magazine loaded, round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “safe”.
    Stage Five: Loaded magazine loaded, round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “semi-automatic fire”.
    Stage Six: Loaded magazine loaded, round in the breech. Fire mode selector set to “automatic fire”.

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  6. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    Basic concept, if there is a magazine in the weapon, and that magazine contains live rounds, then the weapon, cocked or not MUST be considered a loaded weapon. Failure to observe this basic rule of weapons safety can, and has, resulted in what in the Miliraty are called “unintentional discharges”. There have been a number of these by personnel on operational missions. The personnel have been subject to military court-martial, and fined thousands of dollars, including a number of senior officers.

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  7. dad4justice (8,224 comments) says:

    Why worry as Police allow accidental discharge of firearms to go unchecked.

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Yeah bail for sure, this guy is probably not criminal. I would bail him but only after making sure the men in white coats are waiting at the courthouse doors.

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  9. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Yeah bail for sure, this guy is probably not criminal.

    I’m pretty sure he is. He pleaded guilty to having committed a crime.

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  10. IdiotSavant (88 comments) says:

    In addition to Graeme’s comments on bail above, its also worth noting that the guy’s firearms licence has been revoked, and he no longer has all those guns. But that was buried on the second page of the article, well after the outraged venting.

    No danger to public safety = no chance of pre-trial or pre-sentencing detention. And that’s all there is to it.

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  11. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    No danger to public safety = no chance of … pre-sentencing detention. And that’s all there is to it.

    No.

    Section 13 of the Bail Act 2000 deals with post-conviction bail:

    Exercise of discretion when considering bail pending sentencing

    (1) If a defendant is found guilty or if a defendant pleads guilty, the court must not grant bail unless it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that it would be in the interests of justice in the particular case to do so.

    (2) The onus is on the defendant to show cause why bail should be granted.

    The question of public safety isn’t necessarily even relevant. The question of public safety arises under section 8, but section 13 continues:

    (3) When considering the interests of justice under subsection (1), the court may, instead of the considerations in section 8, take into account the following considerations:

    (a)whether the defendant is likely to receive a sentence of imprisonment:
    (b)the likely length of time that will pass before the defendant is sentenced:
    (c)the personal circumstances of the defendant and the defendant’s immediate family:
    (d)any other consideration that the court considers relevant.

    (4)If the defendant is unlikely to receive a sentence of imprisonment, this must count against the defendant being remanded in custody.

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  12. dad4justice (8,224 comments) says:

    Why worry about blasting shotguns in a public area without a firearms license, because Tame Iti can get away with it and bail whale for pending terrorism charges. The law is a croc of crap.

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  13. Artcroft (2 comments) says:

    Can the police be sure they collected all his firearms when they revoked his license. Maybe he buried some out back.

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  14. jafapete (757 comments) says:

    Hippo crap?

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  15. Steve (4,563 comments) says:

    Guns don’t kill people.
    People kill people.
    30 guns? gun collector, yeah right.
    No round in the breach but mag loaded?
    Fucking bullshit, the gun was there to be used.
    Far to many soft cocks defend the arseholes.

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  16. kiwitoffee (383 comments) says:

    Mr DPF

    You seem to take exception to this nutter’s pastime and yet you find the Killdozer a ‘fun thing’. Now that IS funny.

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  17. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Graeme is correct. The Judge had to look at s13 (only) which basically boils down to whether or not it is likely the guy will be imprisoned. If you take the hysteria out and look at the facts (admittedly close to a case of divining in that appalling beat up of an article) you will note he has plead guilty to two charges which, as Greame notes, are not the most serious in the world. There is every chance that he will not be imprisoned (although not guaranteed).

    Comments such as 30 guns have little relevance – he had a firearms licence (now revoked). There are two charges and the judge has to look at those.

    With all respect to the MPs (and DPF) this is a case of swallowing a media beat up hook line and sinker. Completely unnecessary references to things such as David Gray is just an attempt to prey on New Zealander’s seeming fear of firearms. Pathetic.

    Not only does there appear to be confusion between pre and post conviction bail but this falls well short of the proposed test of no “better case for no bail”.

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  18. gun-shy (1 comment) says:

    Wait a minute, the guy is 69 yeras old, had his license revoked, which means he had one, for all the guns. That means an E Class license, which are not exactly handed out to everyone, which means he passed the very very strict criteria to have one in the first place. Even mentioning David Gray on the same page shows poor journalism without any hint of a comparison. the guy ran over a paua diver two years ago, so how come he was allowed to keep his license after that, if it was that bad. Ran over in a boat is not running over in a car. If the diver is 5 metres below the boat, he is still being run over. Too many things don’t stack up for this article. Does not sound right to me at all and the Judge gives him bail. Obviously the guy is not as bad as is made out. Just an opinion. Now Tame Iti, that is a different story. We know his background, definite cause for concern

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