Judge David Collins - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

6 Jul 2017

Judge David Collins - Asshole of the Week

It's pretty obvious to all and sundry that the justice system in New Zealand is completely broken. Violent crime is increasing, gangs are still making a killing, Police are stretched to breaking point and jails are overflowing with wasted potential while politicians once again get on the harsher penalties bandwagon.

What about the court system I hear you ask? On one hand we have people being heavily penalised for misdemeanours and incorrect rulings because they cannot afford prohibitive lawyers fees as well as innocent people being wrongly imprisoned because Police are too often under pressure to get convictions and on the other we have idiot judges allowing seasoned criminals to walk free.

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

Convicted rapist walks free after new complainant collapses at court

Justice David Collins had to put the more serious allegations against Tamati aside when a young woman was not able to give evidence.

As a young man Tristan Lee Tamati admitted raping a 91-year-old woman in Westport.

On Monday he walked free when his latest alleged victim, a petite teenager he befriended after Facebook contact, collapsed for the second time when called to give evidence against him.

Clearly Judge Collins should have delayed proceedings again until another hearing could be heard. In this case justice delayed would have been justice served.

Prosecutor Kate Feltham decided not to risk the young woman's health and wellbeing by trying to have her continue with the trial.

The sentence had in effect already been served during the 18 months he spent in custody awaiting trial, so he was immediately released.

In the High Court at Wellington the most serious charges against Tamati, now 41, were dropped and he was sentenced to 15 months' jail for assaulting the young woman and giving her methamphetamine.

Unbelievable! A person who commits an assault with intent to injure is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years in prison and somebody who supplies a class A drug like meth can receive a sentence of life imprisonment.

The fact that Collins didn’t hand down a sentence befitting the crimes Tamati was convicted of and also failed to acknowledge the seriousness of his multiple offences shows that Collins isn’t fit to be a high court judge. He should have at least considered the seriousness of Tamati's crimes and their effect on his latest victim when determining a sentence.

Tamati had faced three charges of supplying methamphetamine to the complainant, who was then 16, three of unlawful sexual connection, two charges of rape, and one each of kidnapping, male assaults female, threatening to kill and indecent assault.

Why on earth where the more serious charges dropped while the charges for assault and supply upheld? Obviously even the crimes Tamati was convicted of are serious enough to warrant a heftier sentence. After all the supply of P and assault with intent on a sixteen-year-old girl are pretty horrific offences.

Obviously Judge Collins, if the victim wasn’t able to provide more evidence in person, could and should have ruled the case on the papers, recordings and or witness statements, which would have contained detailed accounts of the crimes committed.

The fact that this judge decided to dismiss the evidence the victim had already provided the court, ignore the evidence given by the Police and in essence ignore the letter of the law shows that he had no concern for Tamati’s historic, current or future victims.

Personally I don't usually support longer sentences, but when there's a clear threat to public safety we should see proper and justified jail terms. Without a functioning justice system in New Zealand that provides consistent rulings we cannot hope to rebuild a safe and functioning society. Collins' highly questionable ruling in this matter has in effect signalled to all the gangster rapists and drug-dealing thugs out there that they will get a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket.

That’s why Justice David Collins wins this week’s Asshole Award. In my opinion he should be disbarred.