As the Government has announced it wants to repeal the three strikes law, I’m going to start a new feature to show had awfully bad this is.
I will be regularly profiling a second striker. These are people whose second strike has meant they are ineligible for early release on parole. The Government wants to change the law so they can be released after possibly just one third of their sentence.
Hugh Tareha is currently serving a “Second Strike” sentence of 12 years and 9 months imprisonment without the possibility of parole for bashing and sexually violating an 87 year old grandmother in her own home in Napier in 2013. Later the same day, he burgled a 73 year old woman’s home with the intention of sexually assaulting her. He was on parole at the time of this offending.
His first strike offence was a home invasion burglary which he committed while subject to a sentence for prior offending. He invaded the home of a 68 year old woman and attacked her, grabbing her by the throat and threatening her and then robbing her. He was imprisoned for just 3 years and 4 months. The Parole Board released him early, considering he did not present an “undue risk”, and even reported the day before this attack that they were “pleased with his performance”. Well done New Zealand Parole Board.
In 2008, Tareha was imprisoned for a home invasion burglary in which he targeted a young woman to whom he was attracted. He has numerous prior convictions, including others for burglary.
Tareha is a hard core recidivist.
The sentencing Judge for his second strike didn’t think his record of offending was serious enough to invoke “preventive detention” – an open-ended sentence that may mean indefinite imprisonment for the public’s protection. Thank goodness for Three Strikes, which steps in at this point.
Without the Three Strikes law, Hugh Tareha would be eligible for release by the Parole Board, who got it so badly wrong when they let him out in 2013, after just 4 years and 3 months.
Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, and her Justice Minister, Andrew Little, want this man back on the streets so he can continue his career of home invasions and sexual violations of elderly women. The people of Napier have good reason to fear this man and the Government’s lenient view of him.
Eligible for release – under Three Strikes:
Around July 2026 (current situation) (8 more years)
Eligible for release – without Three Strikes:
Eligible for parole January 2018 (if Three Strikes repealed)*
If Labour, with NZ First’s support, repeal three strikes and make it “retroactive” this man will be eligible for immediate release from prison.
* Note the Judge said he would have imposed an eight year non parole period if the three strikes law had not been in place. It is unclear if it is repealed if an indication by a Judge could be applied retrospectively.