10 Oct 2013

Collins wants better information about criminals deported to NZ

7:16 am on 10 October 2013

Justice Minister Judith Collins is heading to Australia this week to find ways to improve information that's passed on about criminals deported here.

Jade Bayliss.

Jade Bayliss. Photo: BAYLISS FAMILY

Calls for better information-sharing surfaced after it emerged that Jeremy McLaughlin, who was sentenced on Wednesday for murdering 13-year-old Jade Bayliss in her Christchurch home in 2011, had also been convicted of manslaughter in Perth in 1995.

University of Canterbury sociology professor Greg Newbold says the case goes beyond just information-sharing, as McLaughlin came back to New Zealand with what amounted to a clean slate.

"They get released early and they go back to their home countries under no conditions.

"So you can commit a very, very serious crime and because you are a foreign citizen you don't have to do parole, you don't have to finish your sentence, people will just deport you to get rid of you and there's no information-sharing.

"So something definitely needs to change."

He says people who commit crime in Australia should also be culpable in this country.

But Criminal Bar Association vice president Noel Sainsbury says any changes should be well thought through and not be just a knee-jerk reaction.

"When someone commits horrendous crime like this, where they've got history of having committed other serious crimes the question is asked 'would we have stopped this?'

"The problem is, it's not a simple fix. For example, it's said that we should share information, well there is a degree of sharing information."