As we are all aware, former Rotorua Police supremo John Dewar was sent to the pokey for four and a half years on Friday - although he will in all probability be out in less than two years. When the sentencing was first passed, I though it was a pretty "fair cop", if you'll pardon the pun. However, articles I've read over the weekend have caused me to revisit that.
Firstly, the Herald carried a story on Saturday that "Rogue cop John Dewar has been given a discounted prison sentence after a judge accepted he would suffer "additional hardship" in prison as a former high-ranking officer." The story went on to say that the sentencing Judge, Judge Rodney Hansen had said "the "additional hardship in prison" was one reason for him reducing Dewar's sentence from six years." Hello! If the offending merited a sentence of six years, then six years it should be!
As if that wasn't bad enough, today's Herald carries this story:
Chief High Court Judge Tony Randerson has gone public on the issue, saying "the reduced sentence took into account a "series of factors" that related to Dewar's personal circumstances." The article then further reports "In his sentencing, Judge Rodney Hansen said mitigating factors were that it was a first offence, public vilification and humiliation were a harsh penalty in themselves, and the disruption to Dewar's career and the financial setback would be difficult to recover from at Dewar's stage in life." Hello again!! Who is responsibility for the "disruption to John Dewar's career"? John Dewar - no-one else. Who is responsible for the "financial setback"? John Dewar - no-one else. And that is the same John Dewar who "PERF'd" from the Police with a significant sum of money (the Herald says $250k plus), which should have set him up for life.
Interestingly, Dewar continues to proclaim his innocence:
Judge Hansen noted at sentencing that Dewar had "a remarkable capacity for self-delusion and avoidance", before knocking 18 months off the starting point for mitigating circumstances. Sorry, but when a high-ranking Police officer offends in this manner, mitigating circumstances should go out the window. Dewar will now in all likelihood join Schollum and Shipton in the relative safety of Te Moenga, a unit for sex offenders, really bad sex offenders, at Kaitoke Prison on the outskirts of Wanganui - also a refuge for witness protection scheme prisoners, and convicted ex-policemen. It is unlikely that he will spend any time amongst the general prison population - where he would REALLY experience "additional hardship".