Amending Bail Laws Will Protect Families

Media Release 7 August 2012
Family First NZ says that Ministry of Justice figures released today on the number of serious crimes committed while on bail shows the urgent need for improve public safety, and to ensure that those accused of serious offences will find it more difficult to get bail. Family First is supporting the Bail Amendment Bill 2012 and will be making a submission to the Select Committee this week. 

“We agree that public safety should be the court’s primary consideration, and support the provisions of the bill reversing the burden of proof for those charged with the worst offences and with the highest risk of reoffending while on bail,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “We also support the extension to the list of offences that qualify a defendant to be subject to a reverse burden of proof when they have a similar previous conviction.”

“There are a number of reasons why we see an urgent need for change. Natasha Hayden was slain by Tauranga man Michael Curran at McLaren Falls in 2005 while he was awaiting trial for the murder of 2-year-old Tauranga toddler Aaliyah Morrissey. 17-year-old Augustine Borrell was stabbed to death at a party in the Auckland suburb of Herne Bay in 2007 by Haiden Davis who was on bail for another violent crime. Vanessa Pickering was murdered by Malcolm Chaston while he was on bail. The man accused of Auckland teenager Christie Marceau was on bail at the time of the alleged murder.” 

“The Ministry of Justice figures released today in the NZ Herald highlights that the cases above are just the tip of the iceberg,” says Mr McCoskrie. 

“Bail is a privilege, not a right. And the rights of the public to protection from repeat and high risk offenders should take precedence.”

 READ Family First’s Submission

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