Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spot the difference

Man jailed for part in $30k burglary (Southland Times, 22 May 2010):

An Invercargill couple had a devastating end to their honeymoon when they returned to find more than $30,000 of goods had been stolen from their house, the Invercargill District Court was told yesterday.

Tahi Wano, 26, was yesterday sentenced to jail for his role in the burglary, when he appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips.


He sentenced Wano, who also appeared for sentence for escaping custody, theft, being unlawfully in an enclosed yard, and unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle, to two years' and two months' jail.

Artist jailed on burglary and theft charges (Timaru Herald, 4 March 2009):

A Timaru artist, who was told to capitalise on his talent and stop ripping people off, was sent to prison for 18 months yesterday.

Richard Paul Bain, 39, appeared in the Timaru District Court before Judge Michael Crosbie yesterday for sentence on a charge of theft of grocery items and two charges of burglary.

The court heard Bain took a steel bar from a bench and smashed his neighbour's garage door. When approached he said he was "attempting to fix the lock".

Six days later he entered the Park Night and Day store where, after he had ordered milkshakes, he stole several wallets from staff lockers.

Ex-MP Roger McClay sentenced to community service (New Zealand Herald, 25 August 2010):

The judge who sentenced disgraced ex-MP Roger McClay to 300 hours community service has urged him to pick up litter or clean up graffiti.


She imposed the maximum sentence of 400 hours community work, but McClay received a 25 per cent discount for the early guilty pleas to the three representative fraud charges.

So, steal $30,000 - or much less - from people, go to jail. Steal the same amount from charities aimed at helping starving children in the third world, get community service. And this is supposed to be "justice". Bullshit - its rich man's privilege.

Not that I think jail really does anyone any good, or that it would help McClay. But the sheer disparity in sentences based on nothing more than the social class of the offender is outrageous and unjust.