Electronic Monitoring bail; yes, that’s certainly a way to ensure one less person goes into remand, one less person to clog our prison system. One more person to be “safely” monitored by the already overrun system.
What needs to be seriously questioned is this; are bail rulings considering the safety of the community first and foremost, then assessing the defendant’s history to ensure they are not a risk to their victim/s and the community or is the Justice system just shifting their responsibilities to the public and pushing the very limits of our bail laws to reduce the prison muster in the ongoing attempt to overhaul the justice system to become even more offender focused.
A perfect example of such an offender focused attitude is that of the infamous Judge Joanna Maze. A Judge who has been labelled the Home Detention Queen. Recidivist offender Michael Desmond Coles knows all about Judge Maze and her offender focused rulings!
Just recently Coles was bailed on Electronic Monitoring for unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle, two counts of driving dangerously, two counts of failing to stop when police had flashed their lights to pull over, and two counts of driving while disqualified for the third or subsequent time. The defendant reached speeds exceeding 120 kilometres per hour in 50km and 80km speed zones to deter Police in Christchurch. The car he was driving was stolen!
While some may think it is okay to bail someone with this type of offence; especially if it was his first offence, we would be inclined to agree, but Michael Desmond Coles is a serious recidivist offender who has not once shown that he has any respect for the law or for the community.
In 2004 he was serving a home detention sentence for stealing a car, driving while drunk and driving through an intersection, while fleeing the police. He had not long served time in after prison. While on home detention for this offending he walked away from his house, robbed and viciously attacked a sick young Christchurch woman. He was sentenced to two years and four months incarceration for this brutal, unprovoked assault.
After serving one third of his sentence he was again released to serve the remaining sentence on home detention.
Coles was again charged in 2017 for driving offences, pleading guilty to third or subsequent charges of failing to stop for the police when lights and sirens were used. He also drove while disqualified and instigated a high-speed police chase that saw him driving at speeds of 170kmh during a 98km police chase!
In our opinion Coles continues to make a complete mockery out of the justice system and Judge Joanna Maze once again supports the offender, forgetting to put the safety of the community as the paramount consideration.
Another pathetic sentence of home detention completely minimises what his victim has endured. Coles victim now suffers PTSD. The victim now lives with a permanent head injury. She panics when she leaves her home because she doesn’t know if she will walk into her offender. Her life has been changed forever because of Coles selfish choices.
When Coles attacked her, he was serving a sentence of HD, and the circumstances are very similar to the situation when he committed the robbery. No victim should ever have to feel like this or be scared to even go to their local supermarket. No victim should ever feel they have to live in fear, wondering if the offender will return or harm another innocent person.
Coles will be sentenced on the 10th September, the question is, will our Justice system put the safety of the community and victims as the paramount consideration, or will it continue to re-victimise?