We may as well knock on the gang headquarters around this country and tell them we all give up.
It is simply outrageous that violent offender James Tuwhangai has been released from prison after serving just three months of a two-year sentence, and given home detention, after a prolonged, brutal, vicious assault on his partner.
(The teenager, who left his girlfriend with a fractured cheekbone and covered in bruises, credited her as being 'staunch for a white chick.' His comments to a probation officer before sentencing were condemned by Judge Michael Turner. He blamed the victim for the vicious beating he dealt her, claiming it would not have happened had she not continued the argument. He referred to her as a 'f... b...' during the interview.
(The court heard that Tuwhangai had looked through the woman's phone and saw a photo that he mistakenly took as evidence she had an 'intimate liaison' with another man. The attack that followed included punches, smashing her phone so she was unable to contact the police, damaging her car, leaving her stranded, grabbing her around the neck, dragging her to a bed and punching her in the face, strangling her, lifting her almost off her feet as she struggled to breathe, driving at her, causing her to take evasive action, strewing her property around a field, telling her no one was going to save her, calling her a slut and punching her twice more in the face).
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The fact that the court has released Tuwhangai purely because of a concern that he would get 'involved with gangs' makes an absolute mockery of our judicial system. It highlights the failings of the Department of Corrections system, where now the courts are making decisions not based on justice, accountability, or even safety of the community, but on the failings of Corrections.
"If the precedent now is to have priority concern that an offender 'might be influenced by gangs' if they are sent to prison then society needs to be very concerned.
"What an absolute insult and outrage for the victim. This unrepentant, violent criminal, domestic abuser, who strangled, viciously beat and punched the victim over six hours has literally walked free. This just serves to highlight the inherent and chronic malfunction we have in our offender-centric justice system, where the rights of an offender take precedent over everything else.
Tuwhangai is clearly a career criminal, is unremorseful, and is a danger to society. If ever there was a need for justice and accountability to keep him out of our community and away from his victim, it is this.