Rouxle Le Roux: Social media posts claim 'privilege' at play in sentencing

Social media posts comparing the sentence of killer drivers Rouxle Le Roux and Broc Kawhena have been shared widely on Facebook and Twitter.

One post on Facebook shared about 4000 times since Saturday afternoon claims the reason for the differing sentences was down to "privilege".

"Broc Kawhena, 21 y/o, kills a teenager in a hit & run. Original charge was manslaughter but he pleads guilty to the lesser charge & gets 4 years in jail," the post said.

"Rouxle Le Roux, 19 y/o, kills a teenager in a hit & run. Pleads guilty to dangerous driving causing death. Gets 11 mos home detention + 250 community service.

"Privilege exists people."

The post then links to a petition organised by Nathan Kraatskow's mother asking the crown to appeal Le Roux's sentencing. It currently has more than 70,000 signatures.  

Both were convicted of dangerous driving causing death. Here are the circumstances surrounding each incident.

In May, Le Roux, 19, hit 15-year-old Nathan with her car at the intersection of Oteha Valley Rd and the northern motorway on-ramp in Albany while on her learner licence. She handed herself into police 16 hours later.

She was travelling 11km/h over the speed limit and had been drinking and smoking marijuana. During the court process she made several insensitive Instagram postings. They included joking about having to take the bus because she no longer had a licence, and gleefully pointing and smiling at Mt Eden Correctional Facility.

Last Sunday, the now-convicted criminal captioned an image with "the world is literally our oyster and I cannot contain my excitement to explore it".

Her defence lawyer claims she was assessed as being remorseful and the judge took her "troubled childhood" and "various mental disorders requiring treatment" into account during the sentencing.

She was sentenced to 11 months home detention and 250 hours of community service.

Kawhena, 22, hit and killed Otorohanga teen Ocean Heke in 2017. Like Le Roux Kawhena failed to stop, and continued on before crashing again into a fence and getting out to walk.

At the time he was on his restricted licence, had consumed between 18 and 20 beers and had been arguing with his partner on the drive home.

On the way there in an unwarranted and unregistered Honda Accord, Kawhena hit a parked car with enough force to remove its bumper.

Soon after, Kawhena was travelling up to 40km/h above the speed limit when he took his eyes off the road and hit Ms Heke.

He then drove on and through a fence, damaging the car severely and forcing him and his partner to have to walk to a relative's place.

Ms Heke's body was found a 6:30am the following morning.

NZME reports Kawhena denied being the driver right through the sentencing process, and pre-sentence reports said he had only pleaded guilty because the court process was taking so long.

He was sentenced to four years in prison.


This story was amended on Sunday afternoon to add that Le Roux took 16 hours to report the incident.

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