Judge Geoff Rea has just handed down another pathetic sentence for firearm offending.

Kupe Matenga, 24, committed armed robbery – with an illegal handgun.

Then led Police on a high-speed police chase through Hastings – in a stolen car.

Shooting himself in the leg during the flight.

Matenga and another offender reportedly reached speeds of 110kph in 50kph areas and over 140kph in 100kph areas. Often on the wrong side of the road and threatening the lives of those in oncoming traffic.

Matenga threw objects, including glass bottles, at pursuing police.

The chase ended with the fleeing car first smashing into one police car – with an officer inside it. Then later crashing into a second police car.

Matenga fled on foot but was caught a short time later in someone’s back yard. His revolver was found on a nearby property.

If a child had found that weapon instead of Police then serious injury or death would have been all but a certainty.

The penalty for this insanity? With parole he will serve ten months in jail.

Pathetic. Now taxpayers will no doubt PAY HIM compensation under ACC for his self-inflicted injury.

This utter failure of our justice system MUST stop.

New Zealand’s worst gun offender has 46 separate convictions. That is JUST for guns.

The top five offenders have 135 convictions between them – just for guns.

Around 10% of gang members have five OR MORE firearm offenses under their belt.

Some of our most serious gang crime is committed by offenders serving non-custodial sentences for their LAST gun crime – only weeks before.

Criminals caught with assault rifles and illegal handguns get community diversion.

This casual recidivism is the result of a complete betrayal of trust by our Parliament. Made worse by the inexplicable decisions of our judges who fail to apply even the token sentence options available to them now.

Yes the Police Association NEVER mention this issue. Ever. Preferring instead to vilify New Zealand’s quarter of a million licensed gun owners. Who are simply not the problem

Shooting groups are again calling for harsh, mandatory minimum, non – parole sentencing for serious armed offending.

This current situation can NOT go on.

Mike Loder

021 237 8595

backcut@kinect.co.nz