Yay for Judge Callender

December 23rd, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Chloe Johnson at HoS reports:

A district court judge is waging a crusade from the bench to stop serious offenders being released back into the community.

At one sitting earlier this month, Judge Russell Callander sent four defendants back into the cells while making strong statements about the need to keep the public safe.

During the hearings at the Auckland District Court, Callander said was granted too readily and judges could not take any more chances.

“We are almost weekly now presented with ugly situations in court where violent offenders seek and obtain bail, only to return home to inflict either death or further grievous injury on the original complainant,” Callander said.

“That strikes fear into the heart of any rational community, and indeed into the heart of any rational judge assessing risk issues on bail.”

The level of offending on bail is massive. Great to see a Judge focusing on preventing further violence.

One allegedly king-hit his partner, causing her to go blind in one eye.

Another allegedly robbed a jeweller’s shop while high on meth, placing a shotgun to the owner’s face.

The third was a recidivist burglar with 106 previous convictions facing a fresh charge of burglary.

The last was a man kicked out of a rehabilitation programme, resulting in breach of e-bail.

What lovely men those first two are especially.

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16 Responses to “Yay for Judge Callender”

  1. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    I was under the impression that judges had little discretion when granting bail, and had to be guided by the law. Is that not the case then?

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  2. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Sian has been listening at last.

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  3. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    Wait for him to be jumped on and pulled back intoline by his learned friends. But good on him for trying.

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  4. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    What Baxter said, but refreshing and a relief to see a judge engagng with society and publicly denouncing the idiotic rulings by some of his peers. If the Court wants to retain the confidence of society of whom it serves, then we need much more of this stuff from judges. Not only has there been some terrible consequences as a result of stupid judges letting these time bombs out to create more mayhem, but there has been some huge losses (read costs), of experienced police officers throwing in the towel at the frustations of having to continually clean up the mess, after pleading with the courts and opposing bail for some of these individuals. It is my opinion, that Judges should be held culpable when they reject pleas by the police in opposing bail. I’d rather risk having some rights breached from time to time vs having a loaded shotgun pressed against my skull as a result of some judge not protecting the greater rights of society.

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  5. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Drug courts? Why not Violent offenders court. Once an offender gets relegated to this medium there is no bail, no nothing. This will hopefully be silently adopted into our culture as the white line. The line that is feared, cross it and you are gone. It’s obvious i don’t have any back ground in our criminal court system but if we separate this out from all the rest the cyclical offender might think twice….who knows. Why not do what some Muslim nations do?

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  6. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    The examples quoted neatly summarise why a blanket “get tough” approach isn’t appropriate, because the justifications range from “absolutely” (the alleged king-hitter) to “absolutely not” (the guy ‘kicked out of rehab’).

    You can be “kicked out of rehab” for any number of reasons. Some rehabilitation providers insist that you accept some form of God exists, and keeping urging you to do so. If you’re an atheist sent on such a course (because there aren’t enough places overall, let alone places to suit the addict) then you either set aside your conscience and lie, or you have a rough time of it.

    Some rehabilitation providers insist you immediately cease taking any psycho-active drug, including those prescribed to you. So if you’re on methadone there’s no slow weaning off, it’s cold turkey from day one.

    Some are just run by control freaks who’ll breach you for arriving late or missing a session even if you have a legitimate reason (and written evidence to support it). And in some, you just find yourself with a group of people, or a counsellor, with whom you can’t build the trust necessary for it to work.

    In any case, falling off the wagon should not, in and of itself, be a criminal offence. Any alcoholic will tell you it happens on the road to recovery, and it’s the same for drug addicts.

    Real justice would demand that someone battling addiction, and accused of no additional crime other than taking a step backward in that battle, be treated very diferently to someone accused of stoving in the face of partner, not exactly the same.

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  7. Left Right and Centre (2,979 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with this country? The key should’ve been buried w-a-y before 106 convictions. 106!!!!

    criminal no.2 there… why in Texas…. the only jewellery he’d get would be a round bit of precious metal between the eyes.

    Mr 106 might get a semi-automatic welcoming committee in Texas too.

    Hey.. it’s a judge we can all like. Baby steps….

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  8. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Fortunately here in NZed we do not get to vote on judges we ‘like’ or dislike. That way madness (or Texas) lies.

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

    In any case, falling off the wagon should not, in and of itself, be a criminal offence. Any alcoholic will tell you it happens on the road to recovery, and it’s the same for drug addicts.

    It’s not. Breach of bail conditions is not a crime in New Zealand.

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  10. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    How serious has this crime become? Is it on the rise continuously? How bad has the level of P addicts turned violent offenders become since 1990?

    For two small islands at the bottom of the world we seem to be able to get our hands on some serious chemicals.

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  11. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    How bad has the level of P addicts turned violent offenders become since 1990?

    Its really bad and it did’nt help that the police administration in the mid to late 90’s would not aknowledge that practically everybody we worked on had a meth component in their offending, heads were buried for years and it wasn’t until Ese Junior Falealii shot two people in a totally unnecessary fashion that someone said ” crikey we have a problem”.

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  12. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Fortunately here in NZed we do not get to vote on judges we ‘like’ or dislike. That way madness (or Texas) lies.

    Justice isn’t a popularity contest. When the minister can’t find a remedy for a judicial wrong, then the responsibility for the wrong also rests with the voters and the taxpayers.

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  13. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay notes:

    …it did’nt help that the police administration in the mid to late 90′s would not aknowledge that practically everybody we worked on had a meth component in their offending, heads were buried for years…

    How I long for the day when a Police Commissioner steps up to the podium and says “We’re diverting the millions of dollars we spend on helicopters, 4WDs, person hours and prosecutions for marijuana to, as near as is humanly possible, eliminating methamphetamines from NZ”.

    There’d be a two-fold decrease in offending. Robbed of the profits that prohibition brings, gangs would find a major revenue stream dried up as people grew a few plants for themselves. And the (by my estimates, from sitting in courts and visiting prisons) 75% of person-on-person crimes (from murders, violent bashings and armed robberies to fights and purse snatchings) linked in some way to methamphetamines would plummet.

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  14. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    That would be a good step. Better still would be to place all substances on the same legal basis for consenting adults.

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  15. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    “How I long for the day when a Police Commissioner steps up to the podium and says “We’re diverting the millions …”

    Reincarnate a copper the likes of Gideon Tait who was his own man. But no, everything now is tsk tsk and tut tut, all thanks to our legal brethern who have convinced the dumb-arsed politicians about what is just and right. There is no country in the developed world where cases linger so long before the courts, prior to coming to trial. It is an obscenity. Is it any wonder why NZ has the highest rate of lawyers per head of capita in the world?

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  16. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    I have seen whole families destroyed by this drug but it came and went in our community like a wave and it is rare to come across a person who uses it in my age group but it is now a drug added to the list of drugs that young people will experiment with, The fear within myself is, What is the next one to hit us and how destructive will it be when it hits?

    I have known of two P induced rage attacks from addicts that can’t get money from family members

    Violent offending is up especially amongst the young, there seems to be a tradition where a group of young men drink very fast and then go on the “cruise” and end up on Gbh charges as their randomly chosen victim is usually comatose by the time they are finished with them. I have no idea where or why this tradition came about but it’s there.

    Maybe we need to start sowing more selenium into our soils.

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