Second-strike offender sentence delayed

Last updated 05:00 05/03/2011

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New Zealand's first second-strike violent offender has had his sentencing delayed because of the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

Manahi Ripia, 20, of Wainoni, was meant to have been sentenced in Christchurch District Court yesterday for aggravated robbery and a series of burglaries.

But because of the quake, pre-sentence preparations could not be completed. Yesterday, Judge Gary MacAskill – sitting in Rangiora Courthouse because the Christchurch courts are off limits – remanded him in custody to May 27.

Ripia was on bail after receiving a first-strike warning when he committed a further offence.

That led to him being read New Zealand's first second-strike warning on January 26, and he was remanded in custody for sentence yesterday.

The three strikes law came in as part of the Sentencing and Parole Bill which was passed by Parliament last May, aiming to remove parole eligibility for the worst repeat violent offenders. About 40 crimes are listed as qualifying offences under the Act.

On a first strike, the judge reads the offender a warning about heavier penalties for further violent or sexual offending.

For a second offence, a jail term will be imposed with no parole – the offender will serve the whole prison term without remission – and there is a second warning.

For a third strike, the offender will serve the maximum penalty for the offence, with no parole.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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