Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Sicko can gloat while victim pays price

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If I were to enter our legal system as a victim, I wouldn't have the faintest hope that justice would be served. Photo / NZ Herald
If I were to enter our legal system as a victim, I wouldn't have the faintest hope that justice would be served. Photo / NZ Herald

I have absolute faith in our legal system and here I emphasise the word legal.

It's not a justice system. It is there to interpret points of law, not dispense justice, and those who work within the system have no interest in what is morally right. If I were to appear in the dock I would be certain that I would be dealt with fairly. I would be made abundantly aware of my rights and if, at any stage of my arrest, a point of law had not been followed to the letter I would be confident that this would be pounced on by my taxpayer-funded defence lawyer with a view to using the transgression as a reason for charges against me to be dropped.

If I were to enter our legal system as a victim, however, I wouldn't have the faintest hope that justice would be served and that the person who wronged me would be suitably punished. Take the case of creepy old Colin Crofts. He admitted raping a woman and was sentenced to four years' jail in 2004.

He served his time but now he's out and a protection order, preventing him from living anywhere near his victim, has lapsed. But not only has he moved into the neighbourhood, he's moved right next door to the woman, so close that he can see into her front window.

It makes me sick to see how our laws fail the victims of crime.

The woman has been told she can reapply to have conditions put on a protection order but why should the onus be on the victim? Why go through the formalities when this creep should never be allowed anywhere near her?

Police say they have no power to prevent Crofts living next door unless he commits another offence.

Last year, Crofts, a man described by a sentencing judge as a high-risk recidivist offender with limited controls and a strong sex drive, was convicted of stealing women's underwear, cutting it up and pegging it on her line. And that's not good enough to see him evicted? Crofts says he's moved on and his victim should too - evidence of his low intellect. A system that allows a rapist to continue to terrorise his victim is just as criminal as the sicko who committed the offence.

- Herald on Sunday

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