A Members’ Bill to limit the availability of concurrent sentencing has been lodged by Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon.
“My Sentencing (Restriction of Concurrent Sentencing) Amendment Bill will ensure that serious, recidivist criminals do not receive a discount on their sentences for multiple crimes,” Mr Falloon says.
“Concurrent sentencing is a logical option for judges to consider when sentencing offenders who have committed a number of related crimes in a short space of time, or as part of a single act by an offender.
“However, the Sentencing Act allows for concurrent sentencing even when the offending spans a number of separate and unrelated incidents, and in the case of offending while on bail, potentially weeks or months after the initial offence.”
The Sentencing (Restriction of Concurrent Sentencing) Amendment Bill will:
- ensure offenders on bail for an existing offence receive a cumulative sentence for a subsequent offence;
- remove concurrent sentencing for offenders who commit crimes while in custody and on parole, increasing the deterrent to them continuing with their offending after they’ve been sentenced;
- specify that offenders who commit multiple offences of sexual violation must receive cumulative sentences for those offences.
“Rape and serious sexual offences have a particularly harmful effect on victims, who carry the scars with them the rest of their lives; offenders shouldn’t receive any reduction in sentence for offending against more than one person,” Mr Falloon says.