Tony Milne, labour activist, thinks those who plead guilty can be acquitted
Tony Milne has been running a wee mini-campaign on the smacking bill, a bill that doesn't affect him because he has no kids, and neither does his partner. He seems to think that if someone pleads guilty for a crime of lightly smacking a kid, he can be acquitted in every case under Sue Bradford's Bill.
One comment on his blog asked this question:
My 3 year old child decides in her infinite wisdom to pour a bottle of milk through the sock draw and I respond by giving her a smack on the bottom. My neighbour witnesses this from her kitchen window and decides to call the Police.His answer:
When the Police investigate this I admit to it because I am an honest law abiding citizen.The Police decide to prosecute me as a result of my neighbours witness statement and my confession.
Will I be convicted of Assault?
The answer is no. But if your neighbour reported that you did it with a piece of 2 by 4 wood, then the answer would be yesSo if police prosecute, the case goes to court. There is no defence in court for smacking. If he admits to the police, the implication is a guilty plea under the law. Assault by 2 by 4 is probably not reasonable force, but then again it doesn't matter as reasonable force for correction is outlawed through the courts under the bill.
The answer can only be no if the person concerned does not plead guilty and it is a crap prosecution case and it falls over. Or is discharged without conviction.So I cut and pasted the question and re-asked it. His response
Clearly this is a co-ordinated question. From which fundamentalist group is it dave?Now, as I'm not part of a fundamentalist group, I don't know. So it is not a co-ordinated question. I dont even know the person who initially asked the question. But what I do know is that Tony can't answer a good question based on application of basic law. So Tony, feel free to answer it in the comments and explain in any other way why someone who is prosecuted for a crime cannot be convicted if he pleads guilty, particularly if it relates to light smacking. I can think of one other way, perhaps I`ll put it in the comments later.