New Zealand's justice system is facing criticism, with social media erupting over a 19-year-old driver being sentenced to home detention and community service for killing a 15-year-old cyclist.
On Friday, 19-year-old Rouxle Le Roux was sentenced to 11 months home detention and 250 hours community service after being charged for dangerous driving causing death.
- Mother of 15yo hit-and-run victim launches petition demanding killer's sentence be appealed
- Woman who killed boy with car joked about having to catch bus on Instagram
- 19yo woman sentenced to home detention, community service for dangerous driving killing 15yo cyclist
In May, Le Roux, a learner driver who had consumed alcohol and cannabis earlier, hit Nathan Kraatskow with her car at the intersection of Oteha Valley Rd and the northern motorway onramp in Albany before driving off.
In the months between the crash and her sentencing, Le Roux posted multiple Instagram photos appearing to make light of the situation, including one where she dressed in an orange convict outfit for Halloween with the caption "hide ya kids".
While Judge Nicola Matthers said she believes Le Roux is remorseful, social media users have overwhelmingly slammed the sentence, with many saying that if Le Reox wasn't white she would be facing jail time.
"Disgusting....if this was a person of colour and/or of low socioeconomic back ground would the justice system hand down the same sentence.....I think not," said one person. Another said Le Roux "doesn't look remotely sorry."
"Yet again our "justice" system is an absolute and an insult to this boy and all of his friends and family!"
One Twitter user said it was "chilling" that a life had been taken and "[Le Roux] spends 11 months chilling".
"Minimum mandatory sentences are a must in these cases, this needs to changes," said the user who also tagged Justice Minister Andrew Little.
"11 months of home detention is nothing in front of the pain suffered by the victims, parents and family," said a Facebook user.
A petition calling for the Crown to appeal the sentence received massive support on Saturday, gaining over 15,000 signatures in less than 7 hours.
However, one social media user said the justice system needed to be left alone to "do its thing".
"The only way to ensure change is made correctly is by following procedure and going through the correct channels. If the petition gets a million signatures, it shouldn't affect due process."
At the sentencing, Le Roux's lawyer, Belinda Sellars QC, said the woman suffered "acute reaction after this accident that resulted in her hospitalisation and she's continued to have counselling".
"In respect of the social media postings, she has felt, and continues to feel, intense pressure as a result of this case.
"She remains very sorry and her psychologist, her counsellors... have all assessed her as being remorseful."