New Zealand Police v QF [2019] NZYC 675

Published 19 March 2020

Sentencing — aggravated robbery — burglary — residence with supervision — whether to transfer to the District Court — wellbeing of young person — amendments to legislation — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 — Pouwhare v R [2010] NZCA 268. The young person had not denied a charge each of aggravated robbery and burglary. He had broken into a school and stolen iPads. The school incurred $2000 in repairs and costs and the education of students was affected. Around a month later the young person and a group of friends took weapons (the young person had an imitation pistol), threatened a storekeeper and stole $500. The Crown sought a transfer to the District Court for sentencing based on the seriousness of the offending and supports that would be available in the adult justice system. The Crown provided no details about what rehabilitative options would be open to the young person should he be transferred. The Judge noted the amendments to the Oranga Tamariki Act that came into force in July 2019 had a more intense focus on the wellbeing of the young person and that an assessment about whether to transfer a young person to the District Court for sentencing may now require more focus on their wellbeing. A psychological report stated the young person needed to address his substance abuse issues and was likely suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The young person had taken responsibility for his actions and showed genuine remorse. A case worker had also crafted a plan specific to the young person's needs that could only be carried out by disposition in the Youth Court. The Judge believed it was most appropriate to sentence the young person under the Youth Court jurisdiction to four months' supervision with residence. At the end of this period supervision conditions would be imposed to help the young person become a positive member of the community. Judgment Date: 20 December 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *