The Sift: We all have a role in averting the agony and pain of crime against children

Monday September 30, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion
Scorpfield Wichman Anthony, 9, is remembered by his mother and great-grandparents as a child who cared about others, and stood up to bullies. He was killed by his grandfather. 19091625 Scorpfield Wichman Anthony, 9, is remembered by his mother and great-grandparents as a child who cared about others, and stood up to bullies. He was killed by his grandfather. 19091625

Nothing is more painful and tormenting than violent crimes against children. God’s greatest creation, humankind, begins with children.

 

Tender, innocent, new, vulnerable, trusting, fragile and in need of protection, they enter the world. All they need is caring loving and protection.

Nothing is more heart-wrenching, traumatic and agonising than reading what happened to 9-year-old Scorpfield Wichman Anthony in Aitutaki.

Questions have to be asked. Where were the neighbours, the soccer coach, the school teachers, the church leaders, Scorpfield’s family, friends, the police, probation service, the social workers?

Thanks to the few alert citizens who stopped a quick funeral in order to conceal this heinous crime. The grandfather got away with manslaughter, the lesser version of murder.

Where’s the culture of looking out for each other? Add keeping an eye out for children, to being alert to wife and girlfriend beaters. Everyone can take the law in their hands to prevent violence and to protect property.

All citizens have the power to arrest anyone committing an offence against the Crimes Act 1969. Assault, causing grievous bodily harm, assault with intent to injure (eg using a weapon or kicking someone with shoes or boots on).

You have all the power to intervene and if necessary knock the culprit out in order to stop it. Tut tut – only use reasonable force. If a person is using a piece of timber, knife or iron rod or hammer, then you can use a similar hard object to neutralise the attacker.

Stop as soon as he is contained or restrained. Don’t over-do it or you will be guilty of assault by using excessive force.

Nane and I have nine grandchildren, five living overseas and four living here. I draw the line when it comes to protecting them. I do so because every day that I am physically fit, I lay my life on the line for my grandchildren, having shifted it from my children when they were infants.

If anyone lays a hand on any of them, may God have mercy on their attacker. The hulk from hell will take over me. It is like fighting a grizzly bear. No limits. No referee. E akarava pupu vaa ua teia.

Poor Scorpfield. His photos presented an innocent good-looking boy, with great potential. How could Ngaakitai Taria Pureariki inflict such a crime on his innocent grandson? Obviously, the result of heavy violent assaults and beatings which ultimately claimed the life of Scorpfield. Disgraceful.

This is the stuff of a horror movie.

Rest in peace Scorpfield, you are now an angel living in heaven with all the other angels.

Ngaa Pureariki, you cannot be forgiven for your crime, but you can be helped. You will have to reinvent and rediscover himself. Time is the best healer. There must be others, mothers and fathers like Ngaa who need help.

We have the Punanga Tauturu Inc services available to help. We as the community have a duty of care to look out for violence against children and women.

Cook Islanders are not violent in nature, we are gentle, cultured and civilised people. Aitutaki islanders are the happiest, good-hearted fun-loving Cook Islanders I know.

Ngaa, you have let Araura Enua down. You have a lot to make up to your family and your people.  

My role to help Ngaa Pureariki will come in later with the creation of the Sir Peter Williams QC Penal Reform League. When my court work lightens up in November, I will officially launch it.

I have received many positive responses and look forward to getting it started.

In my next column, I will discuss my experience with unusual clients and bad experiences with suicidal clients.

Kua rava teia, ka kite!

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