An excellent candidate for three strikes

Meet Steven Karu.

On July 4 last year, Karu was riding a bus when he performed an indecent act, the Palmerston North District Court heard yesterday.

A 13-year-old girl on the bus saw what was happening and texted her parents, asking what to do. They told her to take a picture to show to the police and to get off at the next stop. She did. Trouble was, Karu got off too. …

On October 13 last year, Karu was jailed for one year on an indecency charge but while in Manawatu Prison awaiting sentence, he sent the girl a threatening letter dated August 22. …

“And on the back ‘original hoodlum pay back’.” There was also a picture of a gang gesture and the phrase “Highbury gonna get you”. The letter to the girl contained threats against her and her family.

In it, Karu described himself as “Highbury’s worst criminal”.

He also commented that he was due to be released when the girl would be aged 16, the legal age of consent for sexual intercourse.

His letter said:

“Delete the photo or else. “I don’t want you, me, and your mum and dad to have a problem. “I didn’t mean for this to happen, I’m sorry. “If my mum dies when I’m in here, so does yours and your dad.”

Sounds a lovely chap. But this is the part that staggered me:

Judge Lynch noted Karu’s long history of offending, dating back to 1989, which included more than 180 convictions.

I might be wrong, but I imagine more than a couple of those offences would be serious enough to qualify for a strike under the law.

Karu sounds like exactly the sort of offender who should no longer get the benefit of parole and shortened sentences. I think at 180 convictions we can all agree he is not going to stop offending.


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