New Zealand Police v SH [2019] NZYC 452

Published 02 December 2019

Application to dismiss charges — unnecessary or undue delay — assault of a child — assault — male assaults female — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 4, 5, 208, 247, 282 & 322 — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 40 — Attorney-General v Youth Court at Manukau [2007] NZFLR 103 — Martin v District Court at Tauranga [1995] 2 NZLR 419 — Police v T High Court Palmerston North CRI-2005-454-62. The young person faced one charge each of assaulting a child, assault and male assaults female. It was alleged he had shaken his young baby when it was crying and the next day punched both his mother-in-law and her partner. The young person sought to dismiss all charges on the basis that there had been undue or unnecessarily protracted delay. A charge against a young person may be dismissed if the Judge is satisfied that the time that has elapsed between the date of the commission of the alleged offence and the hearing has been unnecessarily or unduly protracted. There were several periods of delay during the investigation that the Judge deemed were unnecessary or undue as the police had no real explanation for why the case had not been progressed. Further, the young person had low intelligence and met the criteria for both conduct disorder and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) so delay would have a significant impact on him and his ability to deal with the charges. The Judge decided in the circumstances it was appropriate to exercise the discretion to dismiss all charges. Judgment Date: 24 September 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *