Vic­tim grate­ful to trust

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

A rape vic­tim says the Sen­si­ble Sen­tenc­ing Trust has sup­ported her through her re­cov­ery.

Paula Hast­ings was vi­ciously at­tacked and raped out­side a Te Aroha rugby club in 1996. Her at­tacker was sen­tenced to 15 years and an­other eight years for ren­der­ing in­ca­pable of re­sis­tance but be­cause New Zealand has con­cur­rent sen­tences he only had to serve the 15 years, she said.

‘‘So to me he got the beat­ing for free.’’

To add in­sult to in­jury her at­tacker then suc­cess­fully re­duced his sen­tence to 12 years at ap­peal.

She agreed with SST’s push for con­cur­rent sen­tences instead of cu­mu­la­tive sen­tences, mean­ing an of­fender would have their sen­tences added to­gether, instead of hav­ing them run along side each other.

Al­though SST was not yet formed when her case went to court, the trust has since helped to sup­port her is­sues like yearly pa­role hear­ings.

‘‘Vic­tim Sup­port can help you at the time of the crime but pa­role hear­ings are not what they are there for and SST can help you with that.’’

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