Strike One

The Dom Post reports:

An Upper Hutt man has been served with New Zealand’s first warning under the controversial “” law after being convicted of groping a woman.

Dwyane Christopher Mercer, 32, was convicted in Upper Hutt District Court last week after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting his friend’s partner. Indecent assault is one of 40 serious violent offences that attract “strikes” upon conviction. The law came into force on June 1. …

Mercer, a landscape gardener, assaulted his victim after being offered a bed for the night after drinking, the court was told.

His partner of seven years, Vanisha Mercer, 25, supported him in court and was unhappy with the “strike”. His three-year-old daughter and son, 6, were missing their father, who was in prison for the first time, she said. “I think it’s unfair … He was just drunk.”

The new law was a good idea “for really bad people … But he’s not a bad person,” she said.

Actually if Mercer is not a bad person, then the law will work on him. He will not want to get a second strike, knowing it will mean no parole. Some criminals will not be deterred from reoffending, but it sounds like Mercer can be.

“I reckon that if he had known the law had changed he wouldn’t have [pleaded] guilty, because then he would have got his bail.”

The three strikes law doesn’t affect bail.

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