Insulting Sentence for Horrific Child Abuse

Media Release 27 August 2013
Family First NZ is labeling a sentence of just over two years for a horrific case of child abuse as ‘insulting’ and ‘pathetic’, and argues that sentences like this fail to send a message that is needed on child abuse to the community.

Polash Kabhir, 19, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland of repeatedly punching his partner’s baby Jhia Rolleston in the head and face, violently shaking her, and throwing her in to the cot, resulting in brain damage and blindness in one eye for the now-three year old.

“For this horrific level of child abuse which will impact the young girl for the rest of her life, he received two years and two months in prison. The justice system in New Zealand is perpetuating the problem of child abuse by handing out ‘wet bus ticket’ sentences in response to cases of serious child abuse,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“This is another pathetic sentence that sends a dangerous message. We simply don’t value the life and protection of our vulnerable young children – based on the response of our justice system.”

Family First NZ has previously written to the Solicitor General asking them to appeal the sentence handed to a father who was sentenced to just a year’s home detention despite repeated assaults on his infant daughter that resulted in her legs being broken in five places, (with the appeal raising the sentence to two years 5 months). Family First also wrote to the Solicitor General to ask them to appeal the sentence of home detention handed out to a North Shore father who subjected his newborn baby to months of torture.

“As a community, we are trying to say that the abuse of our young and most vulnerable is completely unacceptable and that our responsibility as adults is even greater around these young children – yet the consequences given out by the courts are completely undermining that message.”

“We would call on the Crown to appeal the sentence in this current case. People who murder, maim and torture our children need to know that children will be afforded greater protection by the judiciary,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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