Three strikes – seven years – for bottom pinching

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, November 25th, 2016 - 88 comments
Categories: crime, law - Tags: , , ,

Here’s Key describing the Nats’ “three strikes” law back in 2010 – Govt announces three-strikes policy

Repeat violent criminals could get a maximum sentence with no parole under the Government’s three-strike policy announced today.

“I’m taking about those people who consistently pose a very real threat to the safety and security of other New Zealanders,” he said.

“Some people will say this bill is harsh, but it’s only harsh on the very worst and most dangerous and repeat offenders.”

RNZ today reports – Seven years jail for pinching a prison guard’s posterior

The first person to be sentenced for a third strike offence has been jailed for seven years — for pinching a bottom.

Raven Casey Campbell appeared in the Hamilton High Court yesterday, where Justice Toogood was bound by law to sentence him to the maximum seven years for indecent assault.

The key words here are “bound by law” – the judge was not able to apply any discretion in this case.

So the first application of “three strikes” is an example of exactly one of the main problems that opponents of the law raised. Remove discretion and you can get perverse outcomes. Indecent / sexual assault is nothing to joke about (and I don’t know the details of the previous two “strikes”) – but on the face of a 7 year sentence for pinching a bottom seems wildly disproportionate. Hardly an example of “the very worst and most dangerous and repeat offenders.”

It’s a bad law.

RNZ has futher relevant interviews
Architect of three strikes law defends bottom pinch sentence (that would be the disgraced David Garrett)
Seven year sentence for pinching a bottom under fire

88 comments on “Three strikes – seven years – for bottom pinching ”

  1. Looks like he won’t actually get seven years:

    The harshest penalty for Campbell would have been seven years’ imprisonment without parole.

    However, Justice Toogood said such a sentence would “be a grossly disproportionate outcome” and limit his chances of rehabilitation.

    “Having considered all of these factors, particularly the nature of the offence and your prior offending; the early plea; your remorse and insight, and your rehabilitation prospects, I have no doubt that requiring you to serve a full sentence of seven years’ imprisonment without parole would be a grossly disproportionate outcome.

    “After you have served one third of the sentence, it will be a matter for the

    Parole Board to determine whether and when it is safe to release you into the

    community.

    • Zorr 1.1

      Even then, that is still more than double what the judge would have sentenced him to if given the discretion to do so. In the article I read on it, part of his statement was around how he would have given him 12 months.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.1

        Sure. However, Garrett’s whole point was that the more time guys like this spend in prison, the less time they spend committing crimes against the general population, so from ACT’s perspective the longer sentence means the legislation is working.

        • the pigman 1.1.1.1

          Except the crime was committed in prison (it was a prison officer’s bottom he pinched), so clearly him being in prison is NO impediment to him committing crimes against the general population.

          The logic of the disgraced and discredited, dead-baby-passport-stealing David Garrett wins the day again.

          There was a recent DUI too, wasn’t there? Hopefully he ;leaves Whaleoil for a second and drops by and can update us on his rap sheet.

          • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.1.1

            So, if I’m reading your comment correctly, crimes are indelible, indefensible stains on your character if you’re an ACT MP, but trivial matters of small moment if no right-wing tendencies have presented. As a theory of crime and punishment, it”s severely fucked up but does win points for sincerity.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.2

          whole point

          That’s an interesting description of a childish delusion. Garrett cried crocodile tears for the victims of crime while pursuing penal policies that increase the crime rate.

      • Ross 1.1.2

        Zorr, the problem is that if the the judge had sentenced him to 12 months, he wouldn’t have served 12 months; he would have served a fraction of that sentence. In other words, after a few months he would have been released and be in a position to re-offend.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          Which, because our penal policy is distorted by childish right wing fantasies of revenge and punishment, he would be far more likely to do than someone released from a jail in say, Norway.

          When right wingers are informed about prison conditions in Norway they whinge and stamp their little feet in self-righteous vengeance delusions. They can’t hide from the facts though: one in five Norwegian ex-cons reoffends. One in two of ours do.

          Your self-inflating ego trip just made more crime, more victims. Pay them some more lip service why don’t you.

          • Ross 1.1.2.1.1

            Right wing fantasies? Seeing as I’m on the left of the political spectrum that is an odd thing to say.

            They can’t hide from the facts though: one in five Norwegian ex-cons reoffends. One in two of ours do.

            Well, yes, which possibly suggests that a relatively small number of criminals account for much of the crime in this country. What do you suggest we do with these people?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Make informed policy decisions based on reality, rather than knee-jerk reactions based on right wing fantasies and ignorant reckons.

              • Ross

                That doesn’t explain what you’d do with criminals who repeatedly offend. Would you want input from the victims? Is their voice important?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I would leave sentencing decisions to judges, who have such things as preventative detention at their disposal.

                  The best thing you can do for victims is see to it that justice be swift: another thing that needs to change.

          • Henry Filth 1.1.2.1.2

            Given that the Norwegian jails are so full that they’re exporting prisoners to jail in Holland, you might want to look at the sentencing process.

            Or use the Dutch as your exemplars. . .

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1.2.1

              There are quite a few countries to choose from, with recidivism rates in the twenties, rather than the fifties (us). It really boils down to whether you prefer less crime, or stroking your righteous outrage.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.3

        Also part of the issue was the police making a deliberate call to not lay a charge of simple assault, but instead stepping it up as much as they could, even knowing that it was a third strike.

    • mauī 1.2

      That article also says according to the Act the maximum sentence MUST be handed down on a third strike, unless it is seen to be unjust.

      So its biased towards max. punishment.

    • inspider 1.3

      RNZ’s coverage was appalling. It was presented that this guy would get 7 years and Lithgow was given an unchallenged platform to claim the judge’s hands were bound when he clearly had and used the discretion available.

      Very poor research and reporting.

  2. Andre 2

    Andrew Geddis’ Pundit piece for those who missed it on the sidebar earlier this week.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/three-strikes-and-you-still-get-out

  3. the fact that disgraced David Garrett had anything to do with it shows why it is unworkable, unfair and idiotic – he makes trump sound smart

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Rubbish. Trumps election was in part due to so toal outrageous nonsense only idiots would hold him to, and by which i mean idiot media that does this shit all the time. Three strikes is the crap that git Trump elected, the media summation that the public want harsher sentences is a myth, sure some do, b most dont want distrative news nonsense that is its purpose.

      Geez, do the thinking, a criminal told by their lawyer that they are likely to get a turd strike pinchers a womens butt, a PM pulling a womens hair, no? It was a political statement that the SST/ACT walked straight into, making the prisoner the victum, making a laughing stock of our justice system and the PM. It was a staged policy to get distration that sums up want Trumps victory and his supporters loath about media and the spin elites.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        what is rubbish? I couldn’t understand your incoherent rant sorry – you seem to agree with me about the law and garrett but my trump jibe was too much for you?

        You are probably right, garrett doesn’t make trump sound smart at all.

  4. Brian 4

    The hypocrisy of Garret defending this is simply staggering. That a man who is guilty of assault, stealing the identity of a dead child and falsifying an affidavit should be pontificating on justice is nothing less than shameful.

  5. dukeofurl 5

    It should have been an internal prison disciplinary matter rather than a case going to high court . Thats the staggering bit. I feel in a way it was a ‘set up’ by the Prisons Service.
    pinching backside as indecent assault ? Surely there have to be other aggravating factors to make it indecent.

  6. inspider 6

    This is a dilemma for the left: Cuddle up to crims and trivialise sexual assault, so alienating the feminist base (remember even wolf whistles are a form of abuse); or applaud the justice system for giving sexual assault a serious sentence, and alienate the hand wringers and excusers….

    This looks bad for Andrew Little.

    Ps I predict a very short thread as most will be unable to overcome their internal conflicts to post, unless CV weighs in and then it’ll go for days.

    • McFlock 6.1

      Thanks for your concern. And your false dichotomy.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.2

      What the legislation removed was the ability for Judges to use their discretion when sentencing repeat offenders.

      You may need a definition of the word “discretion” inspider…

      “NOUN

      1The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing confidential information:
      ‘she knew she could rely on his discretion’
      ‘I’ll be the soul of discretion’

      2The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation:

      ‘local authorities should use their discretion in setting the charges’
      ‘honorary fellowships may be awarded at the discretion of the council’”

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/discretion

      I know, I know inspider…some difficult concepts there…like ‘freedom to decide’ and ‘speaking in such a way as to avoid offence’, but I have faith that with the proper support even you will get it, in the end.

      • inspider 6.2.1

        “Discretion – the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation”

        The Act “the court must order [no parole ] UNLESS the court is satisfied that, given the circumstances of the offence and offender, it would be manifestly unjust…”

        That reads like discretion to me.

        • Scott 6.2.1.1

          It most certainly is a discretion, albeit a discretion that only applied to a limited circumstance.

          Outside of that circumstance, there is no discretion, which is the point of the law really.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1

            “Law” – that’s a charitable word for typical ACT incompetence and stupidity.

          • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.1.2

            Outside of that circumstance, there is no discretion, which is the point of the law really.

            So, outside of the circumstances in which a judge can exercise discretion, there’s no discretion? Thanks for clearing that up, I was feeling horribly confused there for a moment.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      Less recidivism: fewer crimes: where’s the dilemma? This stupid policy will increase recidivism – if such a thing is possible when we already have the highest rate in the OECD.

      Increased recidivism = more crime.

      Why are you advocating for more crime? Are you very very stupid or something? Get a clue about what happens on Earth, outside of your fantasy world.

  7. james 7

    I have zero problems with the three strikes law – But – finding somebody guilty of indecent assault for pinching a bottom – Thats stupid – be it his third strike or no.

    And thats where I think there is a problem here.

    Still – if he hadn’t been found guilty of two other charges he wouldnt be in this pickle.

    • McFlock 7.1

      But that’s the entire point of three strike laws: impose a sentence that is more harsh than a rational person would under those circumstances.

      The guy did wrong. The punishment, however, doesn’t fit the crime, so the law is a bad law.

      • james 7.1.1

        Well – it would seem that the guy is a slow learner. So perhaps this is a good thing.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          No, because if it were a good thing the judge likely would have imposed that sentence anyway.

        • framu 7.1.1.2

          “But – finding somebody guilty of indecent assault for pinching a bottom – Thats stupid”

          maybe he thought the same as you did there? ie: he didnt think it would be quite that serious.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.3

          Oh noes, slow learner undeterred by equally “slow” policy that pays lip service to deterrence! Who’da thunkit?

    • Macro 7.2

      “But – finding somebody guilty of indecent assault for pinching a bottom”
      Depends on which bottom and whether ur the Donald or not.
      And its a stupid law by the way.
      Unless, of course, you’re looking to expand the private prison business.

    • But – finding somebody guilty of indecent assault for pinching a bottom – Thats stupid

      How about grabbing them by the pussy? Is there some level of unwanted clutching of women’s body parts that you’re prepared to accept might constitute a sexual assault?

      • KJT 7.3.1

        First offence could have been running over someone, on the footpath, with a motor vehicle, second could be pulling a ponytail and third, punching a reporter in the face

    • lprent 7.4

      Since those previous offenses could have been for
      1. Throwing a chocolate bar at a shopkeeper while running away after shoplifting (aggravated injury s191)
      2. Running over a child in a driveway because you weren’t watching (manslaughter)

      As well as pinching someone bottoms, then I’d have to class you as someone without any apparent ability to think with clarity. Are you sure that you aren’t an Act member? They usually have the same problem.

      • David H 7.4.1

        But when they are sentenced to the first strikes doesn’t the sentencing judge actually say Strike 1 -2 etc? So he would know he was on shaky ground. Could be worse, could be like California get life for real minor crime on their 3 strike law.

        • Macro 7.4.1.1

          “could be like California get life for real minor crime on their 3 strike law.”
          Yeah!
          What a good idea!
          Note to self: – Make sure to put more money into Serco shares on Monday.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Did you hear David Garrett and that lock em up guy of Radionz this morning. They string together reasons for lock him up with a huge sentence beyond the importance of the action, and then supply reasons why it’s all right because he won’t serve it anyway.

    There is no thinking rational brain up there in any of these lock em ups. If they just stayed true to their principles – think of saving money and reduce taxes – we might get some working corrections system that actually corrects. It is a rat’s maze trying to find your way out of a Tory’s brain towards the light. And yet they let out people who are needing constant watching into the community at great expense. They’re mad!!!!

  9. greywarshark 9

    I meant the chaps ON Radionz this morning, not that they are connected with that august institution that I respect even if I do moan about it, often.

  10. The Chairman 10

    As the law allows for the court to consider if the full sentence would be manifestly unjust, one must question the judges ruling.

  11. Ross 11

    So a woman gets indecently assaulted and you feel sorry for the offender? Fair enough.

    You must be absolutely devastated with what Julian Assange has had to endure. Confined to a small room for several years and he hasn’t even been charged with a crime!

    • framu 11.1

      it is possible to look at the people involved and the sentence handed down as two separate things – try it

      ie: discussing a law or the application of that law does not mean you are siding with either the perp or the victim.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        It’s such a good attack line though – if your sole motivation is to introduce false information into the debate, that is.

  12. Infused 12

    Shouldn’t have done the first two crimes. Fuck em.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      It must be hard to bend the knee when you’re jerking it so much.

      Fact is, we want a lower recidivism rate. Something akin to international best practice. This isn’t the way.

      • Ross 12.1.1

        To be fair, he won’t be offending against the general population any time soon. No doubt he’ll reflect on his mistakes and emerge a changed man. 🙂

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          Do you think having an opinion is an excuse for the consequences of putting the opinion into practice or something? Tell that to the extra victims of crime that this policy creates.

          • Ross 12.1.1.1.1

            The “extra victims”? Not sure who you are referring to but I hope you have some sympathy for the victim in this case, the woman who was indecently assaulted. But you’re right, when the offender is released from prison, he may well re-offend.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m referring to the fact that “get tough” sentencing drivel increases recidivism, and therefore the crime rate, and therefore the number of victims of crime.

              Which of Graham Capill’s other beliefs do you agree with?

              • Ross

                Alas you don’t present any evidence to support your claim.

                It’s possible that three strikes is deterring some criminals. And of course, while an offender is imprisoned the public is not going to be victimised.

                http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/the-greg-king-memorial-blogpost-three-strikes/

                The way you opine it’s as if cases like Graeme Burton are inevitable. Indeed, it could be argued that cases like Burton were the catalyst for three strikes.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeme_Burton

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  There’s plenty of evidence from multiple studies if you can be bothered to Google. “Blameless Babes” (pdf) – the speech by Dame Sian Elias – is a good place to start, especially if you follow up her references.

                  Three strikes is not a deterrent – quite the opposite in fact. Just because people like Capill and Garrett believe this crap doesn’t mean you have to.

                  Please note that it is not “my claim”: I’m simply the messenger.

                  Edit: the way I opined about preventative detention – how does that fit with your inaccurate summary?

                  • Ross

                    Three strikes is not a deterrent – quite the opposite in fact.

                    Except the evidence doesn’t show that. In fact, it shows that far more strike offences were committed prior to the new legisation than have been committed since the legislation (other things being equal). You might like to read the data. From the above link:

                    “…strike crime is down in general, but the ~20% fall in strike offending is dwarfed by the ~62% fall in strike recidivism … in the first five years of three strikes, there were 81 second strike convictions. In the five year before three strikes, there would have been 256.”

  13. KJT 13

    Ponytail pulling must equal 12 years, especially as it was probably, at least, a third offense.

    • mary_a 13.1

      @ KJT (13) … serial ponytail puller should get a stiff sentence, for repeated offending. Yes, that alone would amount to three strikes over a period of seven months. Then there is the treason. Wonder what the sentence for serial treachery against the people is these days?

  14. Sam C 14

    I’d be interested to know what the first two offences were?

    • That’s the real shit sandwich in this legislation. The earlier offences were aggravated robbery and “demanding to steal.” When Garrett was peddling this bullshit, we were promised that only violent offenders would be affected by it – the reality has turned out very different.

  15. Pedant 15

    “Pinching a bottom” well that is actually what is called an indecent assault.
    Nice you trivialise the offence now.

    When Tania Billingsley​ suffered such indecent assault as a victim when Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail didn’t actually touch her, you all wrote post after post how dreadful that was (which it too is).

    He wasn’t jailed 7 years for this crime, he was jailed 7 years because of the collectivity of the other two and should have got more.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Why do you want more crime? What is wrong with you?

      Yes, our recidivism rate is so high precisely because of witless drivel just like yours. More recidivism, more crime, more victims, but no, you’re too proud of your utterly false opinion to care less about them.

  16. Guerilla Surgeon 16

    You can call it bottom pinching, or you can call it sexual assault. I notice that most of the media are calling it bottom pinching, which tends to minimise it. I suppose she should be grateful he didn’t “grab her by the pussy”.

  17. Riffer 17

    Yes, not much consideration of the victim in all this is there? All I’ve seen is the attention grabbing headlines which leads me to think there was more to it than a bottom pinch. Could be that there’s been a campaign of harrassment against the officer. In the absence of all the information and in stark context it looks bad. Added up with the facts it may be justified. I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

    • framu 17.1

      “Yes, not much consideration of the victim in all this is there?”

      Thats because the issue is the sentence in relation to the charge and how the three strikes law has impacted that. Someone can correct me here, but the court system doesnt hand down sentences based on how a victim feels. Its focused on what the crime was and the history of the offender

      A better line of questioning would be to compare other sentences for similar charges

      • Ross 17.1.1

        the court system doesnt hand down sentences based on how a victim feels.

        Nor does it hand sentences down on the basis of what commenters write on a blog. 🙂

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          In fact, the three strikes law is based on nothing more substantial than blog comments – and childish vengeance fantasies – so you’re wrong about that too: the courts are bound by it.

          • Ross 17.1.1.1.1

            Strike recidivism has dropped significantly. I would’ve thought that was a good thing.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Not according to your source 😆

              See my comment at 4:08 (above).

              • Ross

                On the contrary, the stats speak for themselves. When the facts don’t match my theory, I change my theory. 🙂

                Here are the stats again from the PA link:

                “…strike crime is down in general, but the ~20% fall in strike offending is dwarfed by the ~62% fall in strike recidivism … in the first five years of three strikes, there were 81 second strike convictions. In the five year before three strikes, there would have been 256.”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Statistics do not speak for themselves. They first have to be collated and then presented.

                  Your source – Prof. Brookbanks – refutes your conclusions. Have a nice day.

                  • Ross

                    My source isn’t Prof Brookbanks. Graeme Edgeler compiled the stats. I would’ve thought that a reduction of 62% in strike recidivism was something to be happy about! Alas, you seem disappointed.

                    Again, let’s not forget where three strikes emerged from. Cases like Graeme Burton and William Bell were behind three strikes. Bell had committed numerous crimes before his triple murder. Burton’s record was no better, yet both were in a position to carry on committing serious crimes including murder. Neither Bell nor Burton should ever be released from prison, just like the guy who murdered British MP Jo Cox. Indeed, he has been given a whole of life sentence which means he will remain in prison for the rest of his life.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dwane_Bell

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Brookbanks refutes Edgeler’s arguments in the link I provided above. That’s before we even get to the removal of lead from petrol and the cops ‘juking’ the stats.

                      So Raven Cambell is like Graeme Burton, is he? And then you woke up.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      What? I have pointed out repeatedly that this right wing incompetence increases recidivism, and therefore the crime rate, and therefore the number of victims. I get that you apparently agree with Graham Capill, but doesn’t that little fact bother you at all?

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    .
    . The piquancy of this our first ever “Third Strike” is that the person who nursed it into legal life was and is the man who callously stole the Identity (and Passport) of a dead child. The Grief of her Parents blitzed into an appalling shock that could never go away.

    That person was a Lawyer going for a political posting within Act. He had the knowing endorsement of his Leader, The Honourable Rodney Hide. A man who deceived the rules of Parliament and used citizens money to take a grand tour with himself and a new girl friend.

    The ACT Party is an embarrassment in which Hide and Garrett cook up their twisted approach to life. Dishonourable men.

    Pinching the bottom of a Prison officer is nothing like the terrible offenses of Garrett or the taking of money by Hide. The bum pinch will never cause the grief Garrett caused.

    But I want to know, what will the despicable Garrett do if the Bottom Pincher does it again. What will be the 4th Strike? Has he drafted the Fourth Strike? does anybody know?

    . I think we need to rid ourselves of ACT in order to protect New Zealanders. We might be able to stamp out the assault of young girls Pony Tail tugging – as performed by a grown man – friend of Garrett and Hide..

    .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      The bandwagon had plenty of momentum when Garrett came along. He simply followed in Graham Capill’s slimetrail.

  19. Debbie 19

    Pretty poor that a blog which apparently supports feminism, is actually so quick to minimise and trivialise an indecent assault on a woman only a couple days after White Ribbon Day.

    I don’t think this assault is in the same category as full penetrative rape, but it still would have been absolutely terrifying for the victim, especially as all her other charges would have heard and cheered on the POS that did this to her; she would have felt unable to exert any kind of authority over them and it would have made it impossible to do her job going forward.

    Perhaps if the MEN who wrote this piece could spend a bit more time emphasising with the victim, instead of mollycoddling recidivist criminals, they might find that Labour could eventually appeal to the greater population.

    Instead, I as both a woman and victim of serious crime, am disgusted at you right now, and I am sure that there are plenty others who feel the same.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      I don’t care much for the description of sexual assault as “bottom pinching”. But then your wretched hostile characterisation of a discussion of penal policy as “mollycoddling”, and your insinuation that I am in any way connected to the Labour Party, means you are simply the pot calling the kettle black, not to mention including Guerilla Surgeon in your vitriol when they already made the same point as you.

      Don’t like facile cheap lines? Stop using them.

      This policy will create more victims. Excuse me for thinking that’s a bad thing.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2

      One other thing: I have no more idea of Natwatch’s gender than you do. I do know that there’s only one of them though.

    • The Chairman 19.3

      It’s clear Natwatch isn’t minimising and trivialising an indecent assault on a woman, Debbie. They are highlighting the disproportionate sentence given and the law change that resulted in this.

    • Ross 19.4

      Debbie

      Unfortunately, the hatred of this government is so strong among some that the odd woman here and there has to be sacrificed. Sympathising with the victim could be seen as supporting the government, which isn’t on. It stinks to high heaven – and you are right to condemn it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.4.1

        How could sympathising with a victim of sexual assault be seen as support for this government? Far be it from me to try and speak for Amanda Bailey or Tania Billingsley, I’d much rather note the rank hypocrisy in your position.

        “I’m on the left of the political spectrum”. Uh huh.

      • The Chairman 19.4.2

        Rubbish, Ross.

        This isn’t about not having sympathy for the victim. This is about the disproportionate sentence given and the law change that resulted in this.

        Even the judge said the sentence was very harsh given the offence. Stating if it were not for the requirement to give the maximum sentence, the offender would most likely be looking at a period of no more than 12 months’ imprisonment.

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  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
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