Children of Politicians

The SST reports:

Labour leader Phil Goff last night confirmed his daughter had appeared in an Australian court after being caught with drugs in her bra – but escaped a criminal record.

Sara Goff, 25, had her case called earlier this year at Downing Centre Local Court after being nabbed with four Ecstasy tablets outside a New Year celebration. She did not front in person but instead entered a written guilty plea.

I feel very sorry for Sara Goff. This would normally never make the media, except for who her Dad is. She has my sympathy, as does her father on this matter. It is not always easy being the child of a politician.

I’ve not met Sara directly, but we have some acquaintances in common, and I’ve never heard anything but nice things about her – very down to earth, and enjoys socialising.

The Sunday Star-Times can reveal Sara Goff, an Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry policy analyst, was stopped as she entered the main entrance of the Fuzzy Field Days Festival dance party in north Sydney’s domain at 2.22pm on January 1 by Senior Constable Matthew Pople.

“Police charged [Goff] with one count of possession of a prohibited drug after allegedly finding four tablets, suspected of being Ecstasy,” New South Wales police spokeswoman Joanne Elliott confirmed.

Being arrested for having four E tablets is like being arrested for jay walking in my opinion.

A Sydney court official told the Star-Times community magistrate Lee Gilmour convicted Sara Goff, fined her $A500 and ordered her to pay $A76 court costs.

Goff lodged an appeal, understood to be on the grounds that a conviction would limit her ability to travel internationally, and New South Wales District Court judge Ronald Solomon reviewed the case and found “she had committed the offence, but dismissed it without recording a conviction”, said the court official.

Which was the decent thing to do. It would be horrific to gain a criminal conviction for possessing four lousy E tablets.

Speaking at Auckland airport yesterday Phil Goff confirmed his daughter’s arrest but said he was confident she had never taken drugs. “I can tell you something, that my daughter has never taken drugs, never taken drugs. I’m not challenging this [court document], she was discharged, she was not convicted.

This is a slightly strange line from Phil Goff, as the court documents show a guilty plea to possessing them, and a statement that the intention was to consume them.

“I’m not being naive as a father, I know she has not taken drugs apart from the legal drug of alcohol. People do make mistakes in their lives. Kids make mistakes in their lives.”

Sara Goff did nothing that hundreds of thousands other young New Zealanders have not done. It was perhaps foolish to take them in Aussie, where the cops are more hard line on this.

I’m trying to recall the last time someone in NZ got charged for mere possession of a few E tablets? I may be mistaken but I think the Police quite sensibly don’t see this as a priority area.

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