Waiting over two years for her case to be resolved left one victim feeling like “justice delayed was justice denied”. (File photo)
A Kāpiti woman is still awaiting justice more than two years after a road rage incident rocked her and risked losing her job.
More than two years ago, the woman, whom Stuff agreed not to name due to the case still in court and her fear of retaliation, suffered road rage.
The chilling incident began when it was hounded by roadworks in Te Horo by a young driver and his girlfriend and ended 18km later at traffic lights in Paraparaumu, when the man responsible jumped of his car at a red light, banged on the windows of his vehicle and then kicked in two of the doors.
As a result, the woman’s car was written off, leaving her $1,500 out of pocket after insurance processed her claim.
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But because she needed transportation for work, she said she bought the damaged car back from the insurance company to use as a stopgap fix until the due repair was ordered by the tribunal.
“I had to fend off the bumps as best I could and keep driving it. I need my car to make a living. For me, no car meant no job.
What she thought was a short-term measure, as she thought the case was open and closed after the accused man pleaded guilty, turned out to be anything but due to the fact that the court case was in beset by delays.
Last month, Victim Support expressed concern that complainants are withdrawing from cases or deciding not to report a crime, due to backlogs in the justice system and delays in sentencing and trial dates.
Department of Justice figures show that between July 2020 and June 2021, 42% of sentencing hearings did not go as scheduled and 84% of judge-alone trials were not heard on the appointed day .
Due to the offender’s age – he was 24 at the time – he was referred to Young Adult Court, which is an initiative led by Porirua District Court and aims to help 18 to 25 year olds to understand and better engage with the legal process.
His next appearance is scheduled for September 16 for sentencing.
Although the Young Adult List may have been a helpful process for the offender, the woman felt it overshadowed the impact the crime had on her.
She had previously voiced her concern about court delays with the police prosecutor, her local MP and even sent a letter to a judge, but she felt her desire to shake things up had fallen into disrepair. deaf ear.
She said that every time she got a call to update her on the case, she had to relive the experience, which had “frightened” me.
His victim impact statement, which Things had seen a copy of, explained how scared she had been during the incident and had trouble sleeping since.
The delay in getting any redress had been financially stressful for her, and she still struggles to this day to understand why it happened.
All she had ever wanted was for the man to be held accountable, but the delays in getting there had shaken her faith in the justice system.
“As a victim of what for me was a violent crime, the wait is extremely stressful, and I really don’t believe there will be justice.
“Justice delayed is truly justice denied.”