I know there’s probably some law expert out there who can explain in a logical manner just how our system is just and fair but for the life of me I can’t see it.
A bloke appeared in court in Christchurch yesterday charged with with being a disgusting person in public. Well, okay, that wasn’t exactly the correct charge but it was what he did: I think we call all agree that pressing your face against someone’s bum without warning or invite is fairly disgusting. And it happened in a library no less.
Philip Broughton, the pervy dude in question, was under the influence of alcohol at the time so couldn’t remember what he had actually done. However, he has been round guilty, didn’t get name suppression and has been jailed for two and a bit years for what the judge said was “disgusting, bizarre, and humiliating for the victim”.
Fair enough, you might say. But what about the “comedian” who ended up in court for performing a sex act on his four-year-old daughter. He eventually pleaded guilty but was discharged without conviction because for some reason, being pissed was an acceptable mitigating circumstance in his case.
I certainly believe his actions were even more disgusting and bizarre for the victim, a child who will grow up with the knowledge of what happened because let’s face it, the judge might have suppressed this guy’s name but I’m pretty sure the number of people who know who he is far outweighs those who don’t so the victim’s identity probably isn’t a huge secret either.
So why did he get name suppression? The judge said the effects of a conviction “outweighed the gravity of the offending” and awarded a discharge without conviction and continued with name suppression.
She (the judge) also said: he had “paid an extremely high price already” … his television career had stopped, his income had halved and “his aspiring career has all but come to an end”.
Whoop-de-fucking-do. He was drunk, so what. So are plenty of other criminals when they commit their crimes. And doesn’t every one of us have a reputation to protect? A reputation that if tarnished could limit our career opportunities?
He shouldn’t get name suppression and a slap on the wrist just because he’s a half-arsed celebrity.
Mike King* didn’t when he got pinged for driving charges so why is this nameless “comedian” given special treatment? I can buy the fact that the suppression is to protect his daughter but that doesn’t excuse the ridiculous “discharge without conviction”.
A doctor’s report presented in court stated he was off the booze and did not have any “paedophilic tendencies” but that doesn’t mean he didn’t commit the crime of a paedophile.
Not every murder has every day murderous tendencies but that doesn’t make them any less a murderer when they kill someone.
* For the record, I admire the fact that Mike King has had some trials and tribulations over the years with his drug problems and so on, but at least he’s been reasonably up front about them. And he’s a real comedian, unlike the nameless bloke who has been described in the courts as a “comedian”, which in itself is something of a crime. He’s not funny.