Today the NZ Herald reported how a judge threw out an assault charge against a bus driver who was protecting a school girl from a bully, and then the judge had the bully taken to the cells by the police to teach him a lesson.

Well done to Gore District Court, Judge Kevin Phillips I say!  Give him a medal!  And one to the Bus Driver while you are at it.

Jim McCorkindale, 70, of Gore in Southland, told the Weekend Herald that while dropping off children last July, he saw two boys pulling the hair of a girl and got out of his driver’s seat to try to stop it.

“I went over and touched the boy on the arm to attract his attention, and that was the assault.”

When the boy did not respond to being told to stop, “I threatened to hit him in the ribs, and he flinched and let the kid’s hair go to protect his ribs”, Mr McCorkindale said.  “But I never touched him again.”

The boy had continued misbehaving after Mr McCorkindale returned to his seat.

Children on the bus called the police and he found officers waiting to talk to him when he finished his run.

When police rejected the option of diversion, Mr McCorkindale received a court summons.


Well done for using COMMON SENSE – something clearly missing with the police in this case.  What I would like to see here is an investigation as to why the driver was even charged.  Waste of tax payer resources, and also massive over reaction!

This is an example of why so many wanted changes made to the relatively recent changes to S59 of the crimes act (and the resultant referendum, and follow up)- that were DESIGNED to protect children from child abuse, but in my view (and clearly shown in this case) had the danger of criminalising normal corrective behavior.    MP John Boscawen’s had an excellent private members bill proposing that parents (and those in the position of parents) can, quote, use reasonable force to correct their children’s behaviour. Unfortunately it was likely to be voted down, and never got to the select committee to enable public input.

Black and White Version: Well done to the judge and the bus driver.  Boo hiss to the Police (in this case).

Update: Seams that everyone I can find in the blogosphere agrees!


  • WhaleOil
  • Mandm
  • Kiwiblog (although DPF thinks he should get a promotion, not a medal – and I think he has a better idea that I do!)
  • Beretta (and everyone else I can find).

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