Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another reason to vote "yes" next month

Girl 'strung up' for refusing bath:

A Waimate man "strung up and suspended" an 11-year-old child by her hands because she wouldn't have a bath when told to, the Timaru District Court was told.

Christopher William Hunt, 48, appeared before Judge Crosbie yesterday on a charge of ill-treating a child.

The offence occurred in January this year.

The court was told that the victim, who was not Hunt's child, had been spreading pig manure over paddocks throughout the day so Hunt told her to have a bath.

When she refused, Hunt grabbed her by the arm, tied a rope around her hands and pulled her arms up above her head so that she was virtually suspended above the decking.

Another child pleaded for the victim to be let down but Hunt ignored them.

The incident continued for at least a minute. After the incident the victim phoned her mother but was too distressed to talk, so the other child repeated what had happened.

This is the behaviour (along with repeatedly shoving over seven-year-olds) the child-beaters are implicitly defending. Two years ago, this bully would have been able to claim a defence of "reasonable force" for the purposes of correction, as the law applied not just to parents, but to "every person in the place of a parent of the child". And as a result, he might never have faced charges. Removing the defence allows abuse like this (and this, and this) to be properly prosecuted. And that is a Good Thing.