Father wants warning removed from record

I found this in the NZ Herald this morning.  Jimmy Mason was reported to Police and formally warned after flicking his 3 year old son Seth on the ear, following a biking accident involving his 2 year old son Zach who injured his eye.  Police were called to the scene by an off duty officer.

“Seth just wanted to go on riding. He didn’t realise the seriousness of it with the youngest one slipping in and out of consciousness,” Mr Mason told The Press newspaper. “So I turned to Seth and flicked him on the ear and told him to shut up while we fixed up the young one.”

Mr Mason was not charged, but was told a formal warning would go on his record.

Can you imagine the scene?

One child injured and apparently slipping in and out of consciousness while the other tugs on your arm and wants to get going?  As Mr Mason points out, he bikes with his children daily and for their own safety, they have to obey his instructions.

NZ’s anti spanking legislation allows for force to be used to prevent harm.

When section 59 of the crimes act was repealed, parents lost discipline as statutory defence for using force against a child.  This was meant to result in prosecutions against those who beat and kill their children.  We were assured that good parents, would not face sanction.

Clearly, there is a difference between a flick on the ear and a beating.  We don’t know what would have happened had Mr Mason not taken action at all or taken a different course of action.  In a stressful situation, trying to ascertain the extent of the injury of his 2 year old, Mr Mason took a quick course of action to prevent his 3 year old from, riding on, interrupting and wandering off.  Does that really warrant censure?

As family first national director Bob McCroskie states “It’s lost the common-sense element. It’s a feel-good law change but has done nothing to protect kids who are actually being abused.”

Tahani Mohammed died on New Years day 08 after being admitted to Auckland’s Starship Childrens hospital, malnourished and severely beaten.  She becomes our first statistic of the New Year.

Police issued 9 warnings out of 15 cases attended in the 3 months following the repeal of section 59.Police attended 111 child assault events, three of which involved smacking and 12 involved “minor acts of physical discipline” during the three month period. Two cases were referred to family violence coordinators, four were referred to Child, Youth and Family, three were referred to inter-agency case management meetings and one was referred to Family Works for family support. Seven of the cases were not referred to another agency and one case was referred to more than one agency. (Source NZ Police)

Since section 59 was repealed, 

3 year old Nia Glassie died as a result of abuse and torture at the hands of family and caregivers. 

Whilst a tangi was being held for Nia Glassie, two more un named children were admitted to Starship due to serious abuse.

Jhia Harmony Te Tua: The 2-year-old daughter of a Black Power gang member died on May 5, shot during an alleged drive-by shooting of a house in Wanganui. Jhia was asleep on a sofa.

Police charged West Auckland couple Rosie Felise, 31, and Melagi Vela, 28, deny wilfully neglecting their then 18-month-old child but a depositions hearing at the Waitakere District Court found a prima facie case had been established against them.  The child – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was admitted to hospital in July with injuries that included a broken left thighbone and a fractured arm. Doctors said the injuries were up to a month old and had occurred on separate occasions.

And on it goes, with no end in sight.  Proving that having legislation to prohibit assault on a child, does nothing to protect the true victims in the same way having a law prohibiting homicide, does nothing to prevent murder.


5 Responses to “Father wants warning removed from record”

  1. Yeah, you’re right.
    And on that basis we should scrap all those pesky laws against murder, rape and armed robbery, cos people keep doing those things despite it being illegal.
    You didn’t strike me as an anarchist?

  2. No I’m not an anarchist. The point is legislation alone won’t do the trick, the legislation in my opinion was the governments way of looking as though they were doing something, without actually spending any money or actually making a difference. It’s a smokescreen and nothing more. When you think about it in terms of homicide, certain American states have the death penalty and it’s yet to deter murderers.

  3. Logik.

    You appear to be dumping a light physical remonstration in the same basket with pedophilia, murder and rape.

    Anarchist nothing. 83% of Kiwis say that a loving smack is not child abuse.

  4. Panoramia Says:

    Parking an ambulance at the foot of the cliff won’t help at all. Unfortunately our law-makers cannot see that; and the idea of walling off the top of the cliff is quite beyond them.
    In the meantime, I hope the cop got his brownie points for a good bit of policing, there? Well done, sir!
    (As an aside, beware moonlight strolls along the beach …)

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