Bail should not be repeated if broken

Anna Leask at NZ Herald reports:

Doctors later said the severity of Mike’s head injuries was usually only seen in car-crash victims – they had never seen it in an assault before.

Three men were arrested soon after and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The Herald has chosen not to name them for legal reasons.

Two of the men were already on bail and jointly facing charges, including assault with intent to injure and possession of a knife. After the alleged assault on Mike, one was remanded in custody and the other re-bailed.

Bail is often appropriate when people are first charged as they have not yet been found guilty (if they are). But if you are on bail and get charged again then bail should not occur unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The third man was also remanded in custody but bailed after a successful High Court appeal. He was arrested again in January for failing to appear in court and then granted bail again until his next appearance.

And if you fail to turn up to court, you should also lose the right to bail.

The family believed that anyone charged with a violent offence should be kept in custody until their trial to prevent any further attacks.

That is a step too far. But if they have a history of offending or were already on bail when further alleged offending occurs – then bail should not occur.

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