Please share and pass on: An open letter to Michael Heron

From Keeping Stock on the torture of a baby girl by a man (who bit her ear and broke her toe) who was subsequently sentenced to 12 months home detention.
Keeping Stock: An open letter to Michael Heron

Keeping Stock urges New Zealanders to write to the Solicitor General Michael Heron to review the sentencing of Jack Alexander Booker in the North Shore District Court yesterday: 

Dear Mr Heron

I am writing to you to urge your office to review proceedings against Jack Alexander Booker in the North Shore District Court. Booker was yesterday sentenced to 12 months home detention, and according to this morning’s New Zealand Herald, the Crown does not intend to appeal the non-custodial sentence.

Booker’s offending against his daughter began when she was just one month old. Judge Nevin Dawson described the offending as “abhorrent” and “cruel”. However he gave Booker credit for an early guilty plea, his remorse, and his seeking assistance to deal with his issues with anger and violence.

This case has strong parallels with that of James Hall, sentenced to home detention by Justice Mary Peters in the Napier High Court. This sentence was subsequently set aside on appeal by the Crown to the Court of Appeal, and a sentence of imprisonment was imposed. The Court of Appeal determined that the sentence imposed by Justice Peters was manifestly inadequate.

I urge your office to strongly consider an appeal against the sentence imposed on Jack Booker by Judge Dawson. He has undoubtedly followed the provisions available to him under the Sentencing Act 2002, but even as a non-lawyer, I believe that this sentence too is manifestly inadequate, and that Judge Dawson has given far too much weight to the rights of Booker, and far too little weight to the rights of both the victim and her mother.

Child abuse is never OK. Surely it is the responsibility of the Judiciary to reinforce that through sentences which are likely to have a deterrent effect. The sentence imposed on Jack Booker is in no way a deterrent to future child abusers.

Please give this case your urgent and serious consideration

Yours sincerely

 Forward to cc to

Or post to:
Crown Law Office
Level 10
Unisys House
56 The Terrace
Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

Attn Solicitor General Michael Heron
From the New Zealand Herald:
“He subjected his newborn baby to months of torture, biting through her earlobe, twisting her toe until it snapped, fracturing her ribs and femur and gouging the soles of her feet with his fingernail. But he will not spend any time in prison.
Despite inflicting “significant and repetitive violence” on the baby girl, leaving her little body covered in marks and bruises, Jack Alexander Booker was sentenced to 12 months’ home detention.”

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