From my friend Alison Xamon )
Greens welcome Committee recommendation for review of domestic homicide laws
13 September, 2012
The Greens (WA) have today welcomed a Parliamentary Committee report which calls for the State Government to urgently review laws surrounding the offence of domestic homicide.
The call for the review of the laws hit a new prominence after community outcry following the manifestly inadequate sentence issued to the killer of Saori Jones, a young mother who was brutally killed by her estranged husband.
“The tragic case of Saori Jones really served to highlight just how inadequate current laws are in terms of taking into account the history of domestic violence when someone is finally killed by their partner,’ said Ms Xamon, Greens spokesperson for Women.
Ms Xamon first raised the case of Saori Jones in Parliament last year and has been calling for a review of the laws ever since.
“In the case of Saori Jones, despite the fact that there was a long term and demonstrated history of domestic violence, and that at the time Saori was killed she and her children were living in a women’s refuge, when she was killed her husband was charged with unlawful assault causing death, otherwise known as the “one punch laws”.
“The purpose of these laws was to capture those people who momentarily engage in violent behaviour that result in death, and these offences are obviously serious, but are designed to deal with people who engage in serious one-off offences.
“Clearly when there is an ongoing history of violence then, these laws are simply not the laws that should be utilised.
“If someone has been engaging in repeated violence and their victim is finally killed this simply must be taken into account both in terms of prosecution and in terms of sentencing.
“Of course a further disturbing element of the case of Saori is that her killer was also charged with a lesser offence because he hid the body for so long that cause of death was never able to be definitively determined. Hiding the body should have been an aggravating factor, not a mitigating one. What sort of message does this send to people who kill in the future?
“I really hope the Government understands just how disturbing and inadequate the current laws and how they are used are and I would call on the Government to seek to act on the Committee’s recommendation as soon as possible,” Ms Xamon concluded.
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
Member for the East Metropolitan Region
Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051
Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931
Phone: (08) 9272 1718
Fax: (08) 9272 1719
Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering