NZ breached rights of child sex offender: UN committee

The Government is considering a United Nation's Human Rights Committee ruling it breached the rights of a repeat child sex offender in the handling of his parole application.

The case taken by lawyer Tony Ellis involves the sentencing of Allan Dean who was handed down a sentence of preventive detention after he put his hand on the crotch of a 13-year-old boy while in a cinema in 1995.

Prior to this he had received 13 convictions for various indecency offences over 40 years and had been warned on two previous occasions that he faced preventive detention.

In 1995 he was sentenced to preventive detention with a minimum 10-year non-parole period, Mr Ellis took the case to the UN committee complaining numerous breaches of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Among other things Mr Ellis complained that Dean had been discriminated against because he was a homosexual, that he had not been offered rehabilitation treatment and there was undue delay in the hearing of his appeal.

The committee said this was not true and that Dean had refused rehabilitation.

Mr Ellis also said the sentence was excessive for the offence.

The committee said Dean had a long history of offending and had committed the offence for which he received preventive detention within three months of leaving prison for a similar offence.

However, the committee did find by a majority that he should have been offered a parole hearing three years earlier than he was in 2005 as the maximum sentence for the offence he committed was seven years.

This was a violation of Dean's right to approach a court for a ruling on the lawfulness of his detention period.

The committee said the Government was obliged to offer a remedy for the breach and should respond to the committee within 180 days about what it had done.

Mr Ellis said in a statement that the only effective remedy was compensation.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Simon Power said the committee's report was being considered.

 

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