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Over 100k sign petition over hit-and-run killer's sentence

Author
Martin Johnston, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 17 December 2018, 2:09p.m.
Nathan Kraatskow was killed while riding his bike. (Photo / Supplied)
Nathan Kraatskow was killed while riding his bike. (Photo / Supplied)

The petition of more than 100,000 people for an appeal against the sentence imposed on the hit-and-run killer of 15-year-old Nathan Kraatskow will be delivered on the steps of Parliament tomorrow.

The online petition begun by Nathan's mother Charlene after Rouxle Le Roux was sentenced to home detention and community work will be received by National Party justice spokesman Mark Mitchell.

Charlene Kraatskow wants a tougher sentence.

By the time Crown Law announced today that it had been asked by the Auckland Crown Solicitor to consider whether to appeal against the sentence, 108,175 people had formally supported the petition.

Crown Law declined to answer questions on what part, if any, the petition might play in its decision-making.

It would be "inappropriate to comment" while the process was under way, a spokeswoman said.

Mitchell said it would wrong of him to comment on the sentence that Judge Nicola Mathers imposed in the Auckland District Court on Le Roux - 11 months' home detention, 250 hours' community work for dangerous driving causing death, and a 30-month disqualification from driving.

"I would hope police prosecutions and Crown Law will be sensitive - when considering an appeal - to the strong public feeling around this sentence."

The petition, more than 100,000-strong, calling for an appeal against the hit-and-run sentence imposed on Rouxle Le Roux will go to Parliament tomorrow. Photo / Sam HurleyThe petition, more than 100,000-strong, calling for an appeal against the hit-and-run sentence imposed on Rouxle Le Roux will go to Parliament tomorrow. Photo / Sam Hurley

The petition was a strong message to the Government against going "soft on crime", Mitchell said.

Nathan, an air cadet, died when Le Roux, a learner driver in a Mercedes, hit him at an Albany intersection on May 18 and took off. She had drunk wine and smoked cannabis earlier in the day.

Other cases
• Te Kohu Karena Goodhue, 20 at the time, was last year sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison over his car crash that killed Edward Waenga, 54, on a Kaitaia St.

Goodhue was convicted of causing death while driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop to check for injuries, driving while disqualified, and an unrelated count of burglary.

At around 1am, the car clipped a traffic island, veered onto the footpath, hitting a seat on which Waenga had just sat down.

Goodhue fled on foot, returning about 90 minutes later, having changed his clothes. He told police he believed the car had been stolen and asked if he could take it away.

In court, his lawyer said Goodhue had not realised he had hurt anyone in the crash and only when he returned did he learn someone had died.

  • In 2012, Guy Hallwright was convicted of running down Sung Jin Kim in a road-rage incident on Auckland's Mt Eden Rd in 2010. Both of Kim's legs were broken.

Hallwright was sentenced to 250 hours of community work, ordered to pay $20,000 reparation and banned from driving for 18 months.

His lawyer said media had inaccurately portrayed it as a hit-and-run; Hallwright was trying to get away from Kim, who he thought was an attacker.

The Deputy Solicitor-General described the sentence as "undoubtedly lenient" - an opinion Hallwright's lawyer disagreed with - but decided not to appeal.

 

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