Letter to Judge Philippa Cunningham

Judge Philippa Cunningham
Auckland District Court
Fax 09 916 9611

Dear Judge Cunningham,

I am writing to express my dismay and disquiet at your ruling last week.

My heart goes out to the partner and mother who did what we would all hope and expect a mother to do.

Our media in recent years has profiled more family cover ups of child abuse than cases like this. Having worked for women’s refuge in the past and supported a mother and child through the process of laying a complaint of child abuse I have seen first hand the fear and trauma involved in taking a case to court.

In this example the comedian concerned admitted his guilt and while this will certainly have made the process prior to your ruling easier for the family your ruling must have been absolutely devastating.

I am not a proponent of punishment for the sake of punishment but I do believe an essential part of justice is the acknowledgement of a crime and rehabilitation and or restitution.

You reportedly decided the comedian had no paedophilic tendencies I am supposing this is because he was drunk. This suggests that if you’re drunk and your partner doesn’t want sex and you have a child in your bed then anyone might end up conducting sex acts on that child. I would suggest this is not true. How was it he didn’t perform a sex on (attempt to rape) his partner while she slept if he was so drunk he was not accountable for his own actions? He knew it was his daughter and this is not the behaviour of a man with a healthy sexuality.

I believe this judgement sends a harmful message to victims and their families. So few cases of sexual abuse make it to court in this country and even fewer manage to get convictions. Now there is even less incentive to try.

I also believe it sends a message to men that they are less responsible for their actions if they’re socially privileged and drunk.

We need a justice system that we can all have confidence in. Your decision has undermined my faith in justice in this country.

You can’t change this ruling, but at the very least I do hope you reflect on the reaction to your ruling and organise time to talk to some of the agencies working with victims of sexual abuse.

Yours sincerely

Jan Logie

5 responses to “Letter to Judge Philippa Cunningham

  1. Well done Jan
    I also want to know why the Police have not takin this higher as they have a right to go over the Judges head

  2. I’m highly unlikely to vote for the Green Party Jan, but may I congratulate you on articulating your concerns about what seems to be a bizarre decision by a District Court judge. For The Comedian to have no legal consequences for a serious offence against his own child is deeply concerning. I hope that the widespread outrage in the community prompts the Crown to appeal the decision to discharge him without conviction.

  3. Well said. Good to see there are others out there who are hurt and disappointed by this ruling.

  4. Gillian Middleton

    When a judge thinks it is ok to abuse a child when you are drunk and make people laugh and doesn’t get struck off for doing so, I see this as a bad reflection on the justice system.

  5. Today is the 13-th of Sept.2011.I have read about Judge Cunninghams decision on teletext.NZTV.Wow!!! I couln’t believe my eyes and at first sight I thought it was a joke.To some extent it is a joke that in 2011. in New Zealand this could happen.Ha-ha.Without prejudice if a doctor abused a child we should not convict him because he saves life?or a baker because he makes fresh bread which gives us fuzzy-warm feelings?a policeman because he serves the country?a minister because he makes laws?a comidian because he is well-known and makes people laugh?How many people laughed at that ruling?where I am standing from we are suppose to be equal in the eye of the law and in the eye of God.Without social status,without gender,without race.A childabuser is a childabuser breaking the law and should be dealt with accordingly.I do hope that the Honourable Judge would be able to sleep over her decision and may our Lord forgive her, as i pray that the little girl will be able to when she grows up.This is something now between the judge and God who she will have to answer one day.I uplift you in prayer and bless you from the bottom of my heart.We all make mistakes and we are all responsible for our actions.There are consequences for everyone no matter if I am a doctor ,comedian,judge or policeman.What’s next??? Our court system will discharge drunken childabusers,drunken murderers,drunken drivers? Would that man got charged if he was a factoryworker or fisherman?I do not even think to speculate or assume.Going by what has happened the future looks gloomy and to where this will lead to…?I have no answers.The big picture is this for me personally.I do not trust the judical system as such no more.I do believe that sometimes admitting we made the wrong call or dropped the ball would lead to more grace,honour,peace,joy,forgivingness and above all love. In the otherhand I would love to know where was the lawyer for a child?Who has given a voice to that innocent little girl?Here is our country crying out loud because of child abuse and by our own judical system it gets covered up? Where is democracy? where is free speech?where is some sensible adults whose decisions would not
    outweight the law according to the Law? I am truly gobsmacked.I pray that if mistakes has been made or balls dropped forgivingness would follow.Wonder what else has been covered up in our country???
    May Our Lord protect that little girl.Psalms 91-He will cover you with His feathers and hide you under His wings.Amen
    A friend,Pearl

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