This week I spoke in Parliament again about assaults on emergency workers.

I have repeatedly called on the Premier and Government to tighten the loophole which allows perpetrators to avoid a prison sentence.  If we don’t protect these workers, how can we expect them to continue to show up to assist and protect us.

The sentencing of James Haberfield, where he eluded a prison conviction for his drug-fuelled vicious assault on a paramedic, was met with outrage by the public.  His victim, Monica, has not been able to return to work and spoken about the devastating impact of the assault on her life.

The sentencing of Aroub Arop this week is another example of the courts abrogating their opportunity to deliver justice for the victims.  Over a two year period, 21 year old Aroub Arop committed 44 incidents of assault.  His victims include a PSO, police, a bus driver, three paramedics (one of them a trainee) and a sickening attack on a girl with a belt.  The incidents are reported to have involved high levels of intoxication.  This offender repeatedly breached orders to stay away from alcohol, yet once again he has avoided a prison term and instead sentenced with a community corrections order and another alcohol ban.

Rehabilitation programs are available in prison and should be a mandated component of sentences for perpetrators of offences while fuelled by drugs or alcohol.  Rehabilitation in prison will achieve accountability and the opportunity to detox and reset an offender’s life to a path that does not involve crime and the carnage of addiction. The time for kicking the can down the road of responsibility is over.