edited: I wrote this post prior to the term coward punch was used by the Christie family. I have sinced replaced all mention of king hit with the much more appropriate term – coward punch.
My blog is usually pretty mellow. I post reviews, competitions and other info for kids and families.
But sometimes I have a rant, and this is one of those times.
So, unless you live under a rock you would have seen that alcohol-fuelled violence is all over the media. In particular the extremely disturbing common place of the coward punch.
Like most people this worries me.
Are people more violent now?
Do people have less respect for others these days?
Is alcohol really the problem?
According to Foundation for Alcohol Research& Education (FARE), each year in Australia the harms from other people’s drinking result in:
- – 367 deaths
- – 14,000 people are hospitalised
- – 70,000 people are victims of alcohol-related violence
- – 24,000 people are victims of domestic violence
And the cost to the community for alcohol related harms are a staggering $36 billion.
Well here’s what I think. Our justice system is broken, more than that it’s a bloody joke. Everyone calls on police to get tougher and have more powers to combat alcohol fueled violence. But what will that do if the judge just hands down a ridiculous sentence or let’s them off.
There is no respect from these offenders because they know there are little or no consequences. If you have kids and hand down punishments that you never follow through with the child just knows they will get away with it. It’s kind of similar.
There is a common theme with the coward punch cases we have seen in the media – they are unprovoked. And let’s get one thing straight provoking does not include: coming to someone’s aid, looking at someone the wrong way or being in the wrong place at the wrong time…I could go on.
excuses defence these common thugs offenders put through the court system is an insult to the victim and their family.
To the offenders: The fact is you coward punched someone who is now fighting for their life or worse. You have shattered a family; you have put fear into a community who will more than likely witness your pathetic defence as your trial is splashed across the nightly news bulletins. We will watch you show “remorse” and be handed a sentence shorter than most TAFE courses. And finally we will see you released to go out and do it all again.
It has taken the deaths of many for someone to say enough’s enough. Amazingly this has been the courageous family of Thomas Kelly who have not let their beloved son’s death remain another statistic. They have been strong, brave and persistent in their quest for change. I applaud them and others who have had made noise. Please visit and support the Thomas Kelly Foundation website and Facebook page. We need everyone to make noise so eventually we can be heard and changes can be made.
This is not just a random rant. One of my immediate family members was the victim of a coward punch. Nearly two years on it is still going through the courts therefore it’s best I don’t say too much. I wouldn’t want to jeopardise the farcical circus it has been so far. After being coward punched and hitting the pavement they spent over a week in ICU intensive care with injuries including bleeding on the brain. Unlike others they survived but only after months and months of scans, treatment and monitoring. But you never recover, the impact that crimes like this have go way, way deeper than what you see on TV – for the victim, their family and friends.
Since this incident I have seen first hand how broken out justice system is. It seems that if you get the right barrister you can talk your way out of anything. One thing I find absurd is the non-disclosure of the offender’s previous crimes until the offender is (only if) found guilty. So you might be a mass murderer in front of the courts for a coward punch but the fact you have been previously convicted/charge/suspected of mass murder does not matter. ??? ehh what??? Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? Does this not show the character of a person, multiple offender? The courts are made to suit criminals and offenders not the victim and this has to change.
The New Years Eve act of violence against Daniel Christie has many similarities to my own family experience. It brings it all back.
The justice system needs to grow a pair and get tough.
Things need to change.