Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lobby Groups need to look....before they leap!

Jimmy Mason of Christchurch was accused of assault in January of 2008, he informed media and sundry that all he did was flicked his son's ear in a serious situation when he needed to get his attention immediately.

I thought at the time this doesn't sound right, however opponents of Sue Bradford's so called anti smacking bill came out in force.

Jan 30 2008
[Jimmy] Mason, who complained about the way the incident was handled by the police, said he flicked son Seth after a biking accident involving his two-year-old son, Zach, who had injured his eye. Mason was given a warning by police after the incident, which he wanted removed from his record.....

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie was astounded to be told Mason had been charged. "That's amazing," he said. "That's going to be a test case. I think everybody has been waiting for a case like this to go before a judge so we can get a new interpretation of the law. It's an uncertain law, which is the worst part of it. Some say it totally bans smacking and some say it doesn't." McCoskrie said his organisation could be interested in helping Mason, although it had not yet been asked to do so.

Jan 16, 2008
Seth had stopped at the corner. He looked down at his brother, lying on the ground, slipping in and out of consciousness. He saw the concern on his dad’s face, and heard him say “wait Seth, we have to look after Zach”. Whether or not he understood how serious the situation, it was with loving fatherly discipline that Jimmy flicked his son on the ear as he started peddling away.

So we have this set up as good father being pushed around by PC police and legal system...I still wasn't convinced, then the police added their bit in...

Jan 29 2008
Police say anti-smacking legislation or not, Jimmy Mason would still have been charged.

So if the police said it would have been an assault charge before the new legislation...surely it must be more serious that an 'ear flick'

Well it's 15 months or so later, and we have a result...take special note of the witnesses account where she says, "... Mason then flicked the ear of the older boy and punched him in the face"

Punched him in the face...hmmmm.

The full story from www.NZHerald.co.nz

Guilty verdict in anti-smacking case
A jury has returned its verdict in the case of a Christchurch man in what has been viewed as a test of the controversial 'anti-smacking' law.

50-year-old Jimmy Mason was found guilty on one charge of assaulting his four-year-old son in December 2007. The charge related to allegations that he flicked his son's ear and punched him.

Mason was found not guilty on two other charges relating to accusations that he pushed over the bicycles of the four-year-old and another son, aged two, while they were still on them.

Judge Michael Crosbie told the jury he could understand the verdict they had delivered. He said it implied acceptance of the evidence from the people who witnessed the incident.

Mason has been remanded on bail and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17.

The guilty verdict carries a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment. However Judge Crosbie said he would consider the option of supervision in order to enable Mason to seek help for anger management.

Mason had denied all of the charges.

During the trial a witness said that she saw the accused punch his son and flick his ear.

Belinda Payne told the court she saw Mason at the Bridge of Remembrance where the two boys were riding their bikes.

She says he was yelling and telling off the boys. Ms Payne says Mason lifted up the bikes while the boys were still on them and forced them down onto the ground.

She says Mason then flicked the ear of the older boy and punched him in the face.

Mason's defence lawyer has told the court his client used reasonable force.

The Crown urged the jury not to make the case a test of the anti-smacking laws. They were told they should not use the case to send any sort of message to the Government about their views on physical punishment.

Mason's lawyer Liz Bulger wrapped up by saying her client was trying to discipline his boys after an earlier bike crash in a busy part of town.

She appealed to the jury members who are parents to remember what it is like to control toddlers.

Can anyone say retraction lobby groups?