Police were criticised for charging the man whose tragic error led to his son drowning after the vehicle the father had been driving rolled into Lake Dunstan.

We might ask why they can’t have discretion in cases like this, but I do understand the danger of giving police the power which belongs to a judge and/or jury.

Judge Blackie who discharged Ashish Macwan  without conviction made that point:

 At his sentencing today Judge Blackie said he agreed with  Macwan’s lawyer that his “carelessness was minimal”.   

The police did not oppose the discharge without conviction and Judge Blackie said it was right for the police to bring the matter to court.   

“It is not for the police to decide the outcome, but the court.”  

That is a just outcome for a tragic case.

No punishment could be greater than the knowledge that Macwan’s carelessness, however minimal, led to the death of his son.

But that decision should be the judge’s not the police’s.

7 Responses to Justice

  1. gravedodger says:

    Justice tempered with mercy.
    A ghastly error, Mr Macwan has a life sentence.


  2. Quintin Hogg says:

    Judge Blackie’s decision is right in the circumstances. Justice and mercy in equal proportions.


  3. Andrei says:

    I so disagree with this post.

    Bad things happen and because something bad happens does not mean there is any criminality involved or that someone needs to be held culpable and accountable

    And the courts are for deciding matters of criminality which in this case was patently not so and culpability.

    How about trusting people’s intentions are good unless there is evidence to the contrary in which case give it to a judge to decide rather than default to the concept that they are in someway criminally culpable.

    Shit happens in a world that is often hostile and always random.


  4. fredinthegrass says:

    Mr. MacWan made an elementary error, with monumental consequences. Why it needed to be taken further quite frankly escapes me,
    As you rightly point out Gd, the man and his family have a ‘life sentence’. End of subject for us, sadly not for him.


  5. Richard says:

    Ele – last post for while – have taken up too much blogging space in just one day-good topics.
    Agree with you that the courts are the final arbitrator.

    My experience with the Police (fraud case a couple of years ago) is that they are v good at placing cases that can have a reasonable chance of being proven in court. In the case -above, it never went to court because the gutsy Police Sgt, (a woman) knew it would be a good case, but the chances of a conviction were slim.

    My point is that the Police we have are excellent and compassionate. Clearly the judge took on the view of the Police – a great outcome


  6. Deborah says:

    I agree, Ele. Good post.


  7. Richard says:

    Sorry my last post (would NOT be a good case)


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