New Zealand Police v FW  NZYC 393
Published 16 May 2019
Disposition hearing — escaping lawful custody — unlawfully taking a motor vehicle — failing to stop — reckless driving causing injury unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle — discharge — custody — care and protection — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 78, 101, 208, 282 & 283.
The young person, FW, appeared at a disposition hearing. He faced one charge each of escaping lawful custody, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop, reckless driving causing injury and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle. FW had taken a car, driven at high speeds and stopped only when spikes were set up on the road. FW had been remanded in the custody of a youth justice residence under s 283(1)(d) of the Oranga Tamariki Act (the Act) for three and half months. Usually a young person would have been released after one month but there had been no home FW could live at outside of the residence.
In deciding whether to discharge FW under s 282 of the Act, the Judge considered the victim impact statements. Neither victim wanted to see FW go to jail. The Judge also noted FW's positive behaviour while in residence. He had set goals, planned to go back to school to get NCEA and pursued his musical and sporting talents.
The police opposed s 282 discharge as usually after a young person is in residence a Youth Court plan is created to ensure the young person faces the consequences of their actions and have the support to refrain from offending in future.
However, the Judge decided that as FW had been in residence for so long it would be too restrictive to impose further sentence. FW had shown remorse and growth while in residence. Futhermore, the Judge made an order that FW was in need of care and protection and placed him in the custody of the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki. This meant FW would receive support and supervision, making a plan unnecessary. The judge granted a s 282 discharge.
Judgment Date: 5 July 2018.
* * * Note: Names have been changed to comply with legal requirements * * *