A young father sentenced to home detention for breaking his baby daughter's legs will now go to jail.
James Robert Hall was sentenced to 12 months' home detention in the High Court at Napier four months ago after pleading guilty to two charges of causing grievous bodily harm.
The 21-year-old admitted last year bending back the legs of his five-month-old baby and squeezing her hard against his body, causing fractures in both legs and a break in her shin.
The Solicitor-General last month appealed Hall's sentence to the Court of Appeal.
In a judgement released today, Hall's been sentenced to two years and five months in jail.
The Court of Appeal has done what Justice Mary Peters ought to have done to James Robert Hall. To have given Hall the judicial equivalent of a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket was an appalling sentence.
We expressed a hope at the time that Hall was first sentenced that the Crown would appeal, and that has come to pass. Hall's offending against his five-month-old daughter was both cowardly and disgraceful. If every a case of child abuse deserved a sentence of imprisonment it was this one.
Here's hoping that James Robert Hall learns from this dreadful episode and emerges from prison a changed man who understands that violence against children is NEVER acceptable. And likewise, here's hoping that Judge Mary Peters understands that men who beat defenceless children with such force that they break the child's limbs should not be on our streets, but behind bars. Somehow however, we are not overly optimistic about either.