Pardon our scepticism, but that is nothing short of crap! Allowing drug abuse to become a legitimate defence in criminal cases would be a hugely dangerous precedent. We don't have a lawyer on the team at Keeping Stock (although Inventory's Darling Daughter is about to head to Law School), but this would be a crazy move.
A drug binge could form part of the legal defence of a man accused of sparking the events that led to the police shooting of Halatau Naitoko.
Stephen Hohepa McDonald, 50, was high on methamphetamine during Friday's rampage in Auckland, in which Mr Naitoko was fatally shot by police in crossfire on the Northwestern Motorway, according to his lawyer, Roger Chambers.
It was more than two days before McDonald realised someone had been killed, Mr Chambers said yesterday.
"There were tears trickling down his face. He was very upset when I told him the news and he is very quiet at the moment. He is sincerely upset that an innocent person has died. "The enormity of events has led him to be very reflective, that's putting it gently."
The effects of methamphetamine use and abuse are well documented, and MacDoctor had a thoughtful and informative post on the subject yesterday. Keeping Stock has little sympathy for methamphetamine users. The offences with which McDonald has been charged are serious, and if proven, he must face the consequences. Only then might we discover whether his being "sincerely upset" relates to the distress he has caused the family of Halatau Naitoko, or the realisation that he is up to his ears in trouble. Once again, pardon our scepticism, but the former alternative sounds a little too much like lawyer-speak for our liking.