The Sensible Sentencing Trust is lodging a formal complaint against a Judge who was reluctant to allow a sex abuse victim to read her victim impact statement in court saying the Judge showed an unacceptable bias towards the offender.
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Trust Spokesman, Garth McVicar said Judge Saunders wanted the victim to attend a restorative justice conference, which the victim refused. Judge Saunders then questioned why the victim now wanted to read her statement in court, where the defendant did not have a chance to reply effectively.
“We think Judge Saunders was totally out of order and caused unnecessary anguish to an already traumatized and stressed victim. It is incredibly difficult for a victim of sexual abuse to speak-up, but to then be challenged as to why she wanted to read her victim impact statement to the court is unacceptable.”
“For the Judge to say he was concerned the defendant would not have a chance to reply shows an incredible bias and prejudice to the offender.”
“This man had admitted 11 charges of indecent assault against girls aged under 12, and one of inducing a girl to do an indecent act.”
“For the Judge to even think restorative justice was appropriate shows how out of touch he is, restorative justice would simply have been another opportunity for the offender to cause incredible emotional harm to his victim.”
“Why would a Judge want to give a sex-offender a chance to grandstand in front of his victim?”
McVicar said this was a classic example of why Sensible Sentencing was pushing for an annual review and accreditation of Judges. ENDS