A reader e-mails:
I suggest this decision by serial offender Judge Phillippa Cunningham strengthens the case for John Banks to argue for a discharge without conviction on the electoral fraud charges, A few points:
Stats have come out this week confirming police almost never investigate Electoral Act complaints (either local or national). Burglary is typically investigated, at least on the surface. Often goes no further due to lack of evidence. Same with theft. Drink driving is essentially always investigated, given the evidence is collected live at the scene of apprehension. This demonstrates the seriousness with which the police see burglary, theft and drink driving as opposed to electoral fraud charges and the regularity with which they lay charges.
The charge John Banks was found guilty of carries a max of 2 years imprisonment. Burglary carries a max of 10 years and is a serious crime. Theft under $500 is 3 months max.
There are a host of other arguments in terms of the relative seriousness of the two scenarios, including Paki’s relative youth, Paki’s prior convictions/youth Court notations, burglary offending committed complicit with 3 other offenders, Bank’s prior clean record (as I understand). I won’t go into them all.
But it is interesting to compare the two cases given both could argue they have ‘futures’ that a conviction may put the kibosh on (royalty v political).
It will be interesting to see the decision of the court, in August.