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Anger over wife-beater home-detention ruling

Concerns for the safety of a woman and her children were raised last night after a Christchurch judge allowed a convicted wife-beater to apply for home detention.

Brian Gardner, the national manager of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services, said the man should never have been allowed to apply for home detention.

“If he gets home detention his partner will effectively be his jailer,” he said.

“Courts are abdicating their responsibility for care and protection by sending an abusive man back to the house with his victims.”

Home detention orders are only served with the consent of the woman involved, but Sheryl Hann, the policy research adviser of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, said victims might agree because they were fearful of retaliation.

“Judges need to realise that domestic violence is a life and death situation and that home detention should never be allowed under any circumstances.”