Sunday, November 18, 2012

A response from Crown Law

Further to our post from Friday, we are delighted to report that we have received a response from the Crown Law Office this afternoon. It hasn't come from Solicitor-General Michael Heron himself, but someone has been at work on a Sunday afternoon. A couple of other people have also been in touch having received similar e-mails.

And it's encouraging news so far; here's what the e-mail says:

I acknowledge receipt of your email.  I note from the media reports following the sentencing of this case it was stated that the Crown would not be appealing this matter.  I can advise that it is the Crown Law Office who makes decisions in relation to whether or not a matter will be appealed, not the prosecutor involved in the case or the Police.  The Crown Law Office does an independent review of the case and after a thorough review of all matters relating to the case a decision will be made as to whether or not an appeal will be filed.   The Crown Law Office is reviewing this file and on completion of this review a decision will be made as to whether or not an appeal will be filed.  I can say that Crown Law does a very thorough review of cases for possible appeal.  A very full opinion is drafted by counsel which is then reviewed by other Counsel not involved in the case before the file is submitted to the Deputy Solicitor-General responsible for the Criminal area of the law, who will make the final decision.   Cases such as these are taken very seriously by our office. 

Kind regards
Jan Fulstow

Jan Fulstow
Assistant to Solicitor-General/
Media Adviser
Crown Law Te Tari Ture o te Karauna

We are absolutely delighted that "Cases such as these are taken very seriously by our office."; so they should be. Having highlighted our concern to Crown Law, we will now let matters take their course. 

We will of course let readers know in due course what Crown Law concludes after its review, and we hope that at the very least, Crown Law will appeal Booker's sentence in the High Court.

We thoroughly appreciate the response from Ms Fulstow, and are pleased that Crown Law has not brushed off a serious and genuine concern. Many thanks to those who have written to Crown Law on behalf of Jack Booker's victim; we CAN make a difference.

Child abuse in NEVER OK.


Lofty said...

I too am very pleased to receive the same reply.
Regardless of the snide remarks from some commenters here, we have made ourselves heard, and hopefully will persuade the powers that be to do the right thing.

Edward the Confessor said...

You don't know enough about the circumstances or reasoning behind the decision to even begin to know what the right thing is.

Congratulations on receiving a a fob off email. Call it a win if you like.

Keeping Stock said...

You're quite right Edward; I know very little about this case. That's why I wrote to Crown Law. They appealed against James Hall's Home D, and he got a stretch inside. If they feel that there has been a procedural error here, they may well do likewise.

At least I have done something, unlike anonymous irritants who stand on the sidelines deriding decent people trying to do the decent thing. And if that particular cap fits...

Edward the Confessor said...

What have you done? You were outraged (grrrr) by something you knew next to nothing about - do you write to Crown Law about everything you know nothing about asking them to do something? How do you even know you've done a decent thing?

You've been fobbed off. Well done! You're making a difference.

Quintin Hogg said...

Thanks for that update.
I will be interested to see what happens at the end of the Crown Law review.
I'm trying to track down the Judges sentencing notes, which the Sentencing Act requires that he produce to see the reasoning that underpined his decision.

Keeping Stock said...

Cheers for that QH. I'd be grateful if you can provide a link to the sentencing notes if you can find them, and also for your analysis of them as one who practices law.

I just find the parallels of this case to that of James Hall overwhelming. In the Hall's case the Crown's appeal over a sentence of Home D for child abuse was upheld, and Hall was given two years and five months in the pokey. If the Hall case is taken as a precedent, then there would be strong grounds on which to appeal the Booker sentence, which also seems to be in the words that you legal folk use "manifestly inadequate".