Family Group Welcomes Appeal of Weak Filipo Sentence

judgeMedia Release 29 September 2016
Family First NZ is welcoming the Solicitor-General’s direction to the police to file an application for leave to appeal the weak and dangerous sentence handed to rugby player Losi Filipo.
“The judge has given precedence to the rights of the offender and his future, while ignoring the rights of the victims to see justice and for the community to be protected. Not only should the sentence be reviewed, but also the flawed reasoning adopted by the judge,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“This offender-friendly sentence sent a dangerous message that we don’t value the protection of victims and the safety of the public in a case that involved significant violence towards both males and females.”
“The Discharge without Conviction communicated that punishments and consequences will be determined by who you are rather than what you did,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“As a community, we are trying to say that violence is completely unacceptable – yet the sentences given by the courts are completely undermining that message.”
“This is not about revenge as some will suggest. This is about an appropriate sentence which reflects the gravity of the crime, protects the public in the long-term, and communicates the revulsion that the public rightly has against these sorts of mindless acts – irrespective of who commits them.”
High Court allows appeal to Losi Filipo discharge without conviction ruling
NZ Herald 27 October 2016
The High Court’s decision to set aside the discharge without conviction for Losi Filipo’s assault on four people means the Wellington rugby player could face jail.
Filipo, 18, pleaded guilty to an early-morning assault, which happened last October, when he was still at school.
He escaped conviction when he appeared in Wellington District Court in August, when Judge Bruce Davidson took into account the effect on the rugby career of the Wellington under-19 wing and fringe member of the Lions squad.
An appeal by the Crown was heard by Justice David Collins yesterday.
In a judgment delivered this afternoon, he said the appeal should be allowed, and set aside the discharge without conviction.
Having set aside the discharge, Justice Collins said he would normally substitute the District Court’s decision with his own, but Filipo had only pleaded guilty due to the sentence indication that he would be discharged without conviction.
Family First welcomes Filipo case appeal
Radio NZ 30 September 2016
The police challenge to rugby player Losi Filipo’s discharge without conviction is being welcomed by the lobby group Family First.

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