A judicial review of a judge's decision to discharge a prominent comedian who performed a sex act on his four-year-old daughter has been welcomed by child advocates.
The original decision to discharge the man without conviction had made the country "gasp", an advocate said.
The comedian, who has permanent name suppression to protect the victim, pleaded guilty in March to performing an indecent act on a child.
He was then discharged without conviction by Judge Philippa Cunningham in August
In making her decision to discharge, judge Cunningham said the man made people laugh.
"He's a talented New Zealander. He makes people laugh, and laughter's an incredible medicine that we all need a lot of," she said.
Christine Rankin, a family commissioner, but speaking as a child advocate separate from her official position said the comedian may have been given credit for making people laugh, but the court's decision to allow him to walk free without even a conviction "made people cry".
It's not often we see eye to eye with Christine Rankin, but we agree 100% with her on this one. We were highly critical of Judge Cunningham's decision at the time, and are delighted that a thorough review of this sentencing is to take place.
We were surprised and disappointed by Judge Cunningham's decision to discharge The Comedian without conviction for a serious sexual assault on a young child which he admitted. His state of intoxication was not a mitigating circumstance. Her rationale that because he could "make people laugh" he deserved a second chance was in our opinion flawed, and her suggestion that he could voluntary community work using his talents in rest homes and especially in schools was outrageous; what was she thinking?
We will await this review with interest, and hope that justice is soon done for the REAL victims of this sad case.