R v VK [2020] NZYC 329

Published 13 October 2021

Youth offending — burglary — sexual offending — strangulation — threatening to kill — common assault — transfer to District Court — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 4, 101, 135, 208, 238, 283, 284, 289, 333, 334 & 335 — R v P [2003] BCL 977 — Pouwhare v R [2010] NZCA 268. The young person faced one charge each of being unlawfully in an enclosed yard, sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, attempted sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, injuring with intent to injure, strangulation, threatening to kill and common assault; two charges each of unlawfully getting into and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle; and six charges of burglary. The series of sexual offending and strangulation charges related to an event which occurred when the young person entered a childcare centre where the victim was working alone. This offending had occurred while on bail from the first spree of offending. The young person had been sent to a rehabilitation centre, where he attacked a staff member, resulting in the assault charge. The issue for the Court was to determine whether to transfer the young person to the District Court for further sentencing. The purpose of transferring a young person to the District Court is to "make available a wider and more punitive range of sanctions than those a Youth Court could impose". In making this decision, a court has to consider the principles of holding a person accountable and responsible for their behaviour, and consider the views and interests of any victims, and have regard to the factors set out in the Oranga Tamariki Act, s 284(1). Given the seriousness of the young person's offending, the impact on the victim, breach of supervision order, and the fact that the some of the offending had occurred while on bail, it appeared the young person had exhausted his options within the Youth Court jurisdiction. The young person was convicted on all 17 charges and transferred to the District Court for sentencing. Judgment Date: 25 June 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *