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Bridges and the Robertson trial

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, December 30th, 2019 - 22 comments
Categories: crime, law, law and "order", national, national/act government, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags:

In quite a clever move National has put out on Facebook a video featuring Simon Bridges and talking about one of the trials that he did.

The campaign is at least in part a social media harvesting campaign.  Tough on crime supporters will love it.  I bet it harvests a few contact details.

The campaign has similarities to American politics where being a crime avenging District Attorney is a quick way to a political career.

The desired impression goes a bit like this.

Simon Bridges’ movie has this title:

What I’m fighting for
Fighting for a better justice system is important to me. Here’s why.

It then goes into the detail of the trial he conducted against Tony Douglas Robertson who was charged with kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, indecent assault and robbery.

The overriding impression created by the film is that because of Simon’s super duper prosecutorial skills the conviction was obtained.  It appears to me however that despite what was clearly a dramatic and traumatic incident the case was relatively straight forward.  The accused was found with the 5 year old complainant in his car and she spontaneously accused him of doing something inappropriate to her.  Her discarded shorts were found in the back of his car.  And he attempted to manufacture a conspiracy theory which was implausible to put it mildly.

Robertson appealed against his conviction to the Court of Appeal  In the judgment the Court said:

We find it unnecessary to go into detail, but, from our survey of the evidence, we are completely satisfied there was abundant evidence which, if accepted, justified Mr Robertson’s conviction on each count.

And the Supreme Court refused leave to appeal further saying:

The sole proposed ground is that the verdicts of the jury were unreasonable, a ground which was understandably pressed only “lightly” in the Court of Appeal by his counsel as the Crown case was in fact extremely strong. The verdicts, far from being unreasonable, were really inevitable on the basis of the evidence.

Bridges offers the trial as evidence that the Criminal Justice system needs reforming.  I am not sure why.  Robertson was convicted and two appeal levels agreed this was right.

Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison.  Given he was a 19 year old with mid level previous convictions the result was not surprising.

Bridges did seek that preventative detention be imposed.  The Judge did not and said that a 18 year old had to be shown some compassion.

Then Thompson went on to kill Blessie Gotingco.  The history of interventions the state took to try and deal with Robertson before this happened were significant.

The Gotingco trial was also a farce with Robertson attempting to argue what was palpably inarguable.  His lack of remorse, his complete indifference to Blessie’s rights as a human being and his treatment of her corpse are very troubling.  He deserves to be in jail for as long as the community’s safety requires it.

National using the original trial for political ends is also troubling.  It was a slam dunk case, anyone half competent should have won it.  The trial process was fair, obviously as confirmed by two appellate courts.

I suspect that as time goes by Bridges will talk more and more about the inadequacy of the sentence.  But if we are going to sentence young people committing reasonably serious offences to preventive detention because they also have significant personality problems then we are going to have to build a lot of jails.

Hindsight is a great thing.  But if reform of the Preventative Detention laws was so important why it was not completed during the 9 years of National’s reign is the first question they should be asked.

22 comments on “Bridges and the Robertson trial”

  1. Siobhan 1

    I wouldn't worry about it..they are simply preaching to the converted..and as we should know by now, National voters are National voters no matter the rising sea levels, no matter the rising inequality, no matter that their rental and business investments actually do just as well, if not better, under Labour…….but still, poor ole' Stewie Nash will be doing a double work out at the gym to make up for this piece of Simon Bridges One-Upmanship..

  2. Formerly Ross 2

    If Simon is saying what a great prosecutor he is, is that an admission he's in the wrong job?

  3. Formerly Ross 3

    If Simon believes that Robertson should've received a longer sentence, did he complain to the Solicitor-General at the time? Did he request an appeal against the sentence? It doesn't appear so.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11493007

  4. Stunned Mullet 4

    Can you link to the actual video so people can judge it for themselves.

    • Incognito 4.1

      #Shush!Simon

    • lprent 4.2

      Why would thebauthors want to regurgitate simplistic nascassistic propaganda? They explained their attitude about it.

      The Supreme Court decision describes exactly what kind of a slam dunk that conviction was.

      But in the end it is the authors decision on this post. I would suggest you read our policy again. Unlike Simon, we don't exaggerate.

      • Stunned Mullet 4.2.1

        "Why would thebauthors want to regurgitate simplistic nascassistic propaganda? "

        LOL the irony is strong in WGSYSOP

    • mickysavage 4.3

      Deliberate choice not to. The idea of the propaganda is to spread it around. I thought I would take the opportunity not to.

  5. Peter 5

    If the circumstances were slightly different Bridges would be blaming a Labour Government for the performance of the probation service or whoever was monitoring Robertson after his release from prison.

    He'd be ranting about how they let the public down, how they let Blessie down.

  6. Anker 6

    I think Simon is trying to portray himself as competent. (Emphasis on the word trying)……see he’s off on a cruise.

  7. Ad 7

    Little's failed reforms are the target he's heading for.

    With Nash's Cop numbers up and crime really low, it seems a minor voter wedge to aim for.

  8. Peter 8

    Hindsight is indeed a great thing. The only way to ensure no person released from prison for serious crimes gets out and commits more serious crime is to never release them.

    The only way to have anyone at all not reoffend on release is to not release in the first place. Now that would appeal to the crowd supporting Bridges 'tough on crime' approach.

    That crowd might mention the benefits such as the building industry having major work for years building prisons too. Or the wonderful employment opportunities for workers in those prisons, baby-sitting inmates until they die.

    And, pray tell, would the Bridges' red neck brigade be putting their hands up to take on those employment opportunities?

  9. Blazer 9

    Never underestimate Mr Bridges,he is an expert in ..body language…an inexact science but one he has mastered to the degree that he knows when anyone is lying…except…himself.laugh

  10. georgecom 10

    and if Bridges tries to use this on the election hustings simply remind him, he had 9 years in Government to change the sentencing law but failed to do so. If it is so important to him now, why wasn't it then.

    • Peter 10.1

      Surely not? Basic stuff not done in years of our greatest ever PM and highly esteemed Justice Ministers Simon Power, Judith Collins and Amy Adams?

  11. RRM 11

    Labour loves criminals. Andy Little wants to free them all, and Jacinda wants those who can't be freed to vote. An internal Labour party inquiry found no sex criminals in the Labour party and the victims just made it all up.

    Labour loves criminals. Labour harbours criminals. Labour gives criminals citizenship.

    Labour is for criminals.

    Bridges is just making the voter's choices clear.

    [Let me bestow a special TS New Year’s Honour upon you as the first one to receive a ban. You have been warned before for making negative claims and accusations about the Government without providing anything to back them up even when asked. Given that you are not a regular commenter here, this is reflected in the duration of the ban. Banned for three months till April Fool’s Day – Incognito]

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