The case for and against letting Golriz off

The Herald reports:

Former Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman will find out her punishment on Thursday for shoplifting more than $9000 in clothing. …

The sentencing hearing began with defence lawyer Annabel Cresswell telling the court a mental health report about Ghahraman was the crux of her submissions.

It found a “clear diagnosis of complex PTSD” with two key contributing factors: her early life in war-torn Iran and the “public vitriol, threats and abuse” she received while in Parliament.

As I blogged previously, Ghahraman grew up in Mashad, which is around 1,600 kms from the border with Iraq. That is like the distance between Auckland and Invercargill.

Cresswell said the “threats of rape and death were constant and ongoing and credible”, to the point where her security detail was similar to that of the Prime Minister.

It was not similar to the PM. In no way does that mean the threats were not vile and disturbing. The PM has 24/7 armed police officers. Ghahraman had a parliamentary security officer escort her on and off the campus.

Crown Solicitor Alysha McClintock said the offending had the hallmarks of pre-meditation.

“This was a spree of offending. It’s not a one-off event. It’s not a ‘moment of madness’-type case.”

There might be another explanation for the offending other than a mental health breakdown, McClintock said: “Simply that she wanted the items that she took.

”On its face, that explanation, given the [pre-meditated] nature of the conduct, appears the more likely of the two,” she said. …

The link between Ghahraman’s mental health and her criminal conduct was not as strong as the defence made it out to be, the prosecutor argued, noting a mental health assessor found there was “a possible link”.

”The possibility of that is no more than that – a possibility.”

So that’s the case for the defence and the prosecution.

Stuff reported:

Both the Crown and defence agreed that if the application for a discharge without conviction was dismissed, an appropriate sentence would be to convict Ghahraman and discharge her.

So the only issue is whether or not Ghahraman receives a conviction for her serial shoplifting.

Comments (73)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment