Gloves must come off for ‘Coward Punch’ bill

The Government must reverse its opposition to creating a new offence to apply to people who throw ‘coward punches’, says National’s Maureen Pugh.

National’s Crimes (Coward Punch Causing Death) Amendment Bill would create a new offence of Assault Causing Death and would apply to those who throw cowardly punches at unsuspecting victims who later die from their injuries. It would provide an alternative to manslaughter and proposes a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.

However, the fate of the Bill depends on it being drawn in the ballot and on support from the Labour Government.

“After another tragic death, this time of Fau Vake, this Bill is imperative. It sends a clear message to offenders that thuggish and violent behaviour won’t be tolerated.

“It’s disgraceful that the Labour Government voted it down when we first introduced it in 2018. With yet another young man losing his life, Simeon Brown and I aren’t prepared to let this go, given people continue to die as a result of Labour’s soft-on-crime approach.

“It’s clear that tougher penalties are required – especially where the crime results in a death.  

“National will always be on the side of victims and we hope that this Bill will receive support from across all parties in Parliament.’