R v EF [2019] NZYC 175

Published 16 October 2019

Sentencing — transfer to District Court — supervision with residence — aggravated robbery — burglary — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 4, 5, 208 & 284 — Churchward v R [2011] NZCA 531— Police v SD [2018] NZYC 169 — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, art 37B. The young person, EF, appeared for sentencing in relation to two charges of aggravated robbery and one of burglary. Over the course of 12 days EF broke into a house and stole money and goods, punched and restrained a victim while robbing a dairy and robbed a shop. This offending occurred while EF was on supervision for a separate spate of offending. The Crown submitted that EF should be transferred to the District Court for sentencing. EF committed this offending while on supervision and none of the Youth Court orders put in place so far had been able to change EF's behaviour. The Crown also pointed to the seriousness of this offending and the need to consider public safety. Counsel for EF submitted he should remain in the jurisdiction of the Youth Court, as this would allow the underlying reasons for EF's offending to be addressed. It was submitted the most appropriate sentence would be supervision with residence. Under statute and legislation, a transfer to the District Court should only occur if options in the Youth Court are clearly inadequate. In EF's case there had not been adequate attempts to address his drug-use and the underlying trauma that led him to abuse drugs. EF was young enough that there was time to implement Youth Court measures in order to change his behaviour. The Youth Court could offer treatment that would not be given in an adult prison. The Judge declined the Crown's application to transfer EF to the District Court for sentencing. A six month supervision with residence order was imposed, with the conditions that alcohol and drug counselling services were provided to EF as well as psychological therapeutic counselling. This would be followed by a supervision order. The Judge imposed this sentence on one charge of aggravated robbery, leaving the other charges live. This meant further sentence, such as electronic bail could be imposed and the matter could be dealt with differently if EF failed to stick by the programmes and rules. Judgment Date: 17 April 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *