An excellent case for the first maximum no parole sentence

The Herald reports:

New Zealand’s first offender, a Whanganui stabber, to be given the maximum sentence available under the controversial three-strikes rule is the law working as it was intended, says Act Party leader David Seymour. …

The three-strikes law requires a person convicted of a third serious violent, sexual or drugs offence to be sentenced to the maximum available sentence without parole, unless it would be “manifestly unjust”.

Justice Collins, a former Solicitor-General of New Zealand from 2006 to 2012, sentenced Hayze Neihana Waitokia to seven years’ imprisonment for wounding with intent to injure after stabbing a man in the leg while on bail.

So he was on bail and he stabbed someone. What else is in his record.

Waitokia has 14 previous convictions, including six for violent offending.

In 2012, the 26-year-old was sentenced to five months’ home detention and was given his first-strike warning for a vicious assault using a piece of wood.

In 2014, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and given his second-strike warning for stalking and sexually assaulting a 17 year-old girl.

Waitokia was also sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for domestic violence assaults in March this year.

A perfect example of why we need Three Strikes. He is a violent recidivist who has bashed, sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple victims. He was on the bail and parole merry-go-round and it has now come to an end.

At sentencing today, Justice Collins said he was “not convinced that it would be grossly disproportionate” to sentence Waitokia the the maximum term.

“I acknowledge that your sentence will be much harsher than I would otherwise
have imposed, however, that will invariably be the case for a third-strike offence,” the judge said.

“Parliament deliberately designed a harsh response to offenders who persistently
commit serious offences despite clear warnings.

Justice Collins continued: “I have reached the conclusion that this is not a clear and convincing case to depart from the full effects of the three strikes regime. This conclusion is based in part because I consider that you are at a high-risk of reoffending and there is a need for community protection. Your previous three strike offences, and the pattern of behaviour they demonstrate, are very telling.”

Justice Collins has it right.

Here’s what we know about Waitokia from the sentencing notes:

  • 14 convictions by age 26
  • Six convictions for violent offending
  • Wounding with intent in 2012
  • Sexual violation in 2014
  • Domestic violence assaults in 2018
  • Rated high risk of reoffending
  • Involved in violence against prison guards

Now if we did not have the three strikes law, his sentence would have been two years and three months. And he would have been eligible for parole after just nine months in prison.

Labour wants to repeal the law which means he could be out back on the streets after just nine months to stab, bash or sexually assault further victims.

It would be nice if someone can find a way to rehabilitate him, and stop him offending. I’m all for that. But until we can, I want the community safe from him. Here’s what the Judge said about his second strike:

Your second-strike offence, while for a different kind of offending, was more serious than your first-strike offence. You followed a 17-year-old girl as she was walking home. She either tripped or was pushed to the ground. You indecently assaulted her and forcibly pulled down her underwear while telling her to calm down. You then forcefully penetrated her genitalia with your finger. She screamed and yelled for help, begging you not to hurt her further. You also threw her cell phone away during the attack. You attempted to remove your pants with one hand while holding her with the other. At this stage, the victim managed to bite your forearm and fortunately, she managed to escape.

Your offending had major negative emotional impacts on the victim.
The pre-sentence report for this offence described you as reluctant to
even discuss the incident. It also concluded there was no evidence of remorse and that you displayed no emotion

And the Judge also noted:

All three of these offences occurred within a period of approximately six and half years. You continued to offend on each occasion shortly after the end of your previous sentence.

Basically the moment he is out, he creates a new victim. So if he is out in two years, there is a new victim in two years. Have him in for seven years, and that is a further five years without a new victim.

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