Rouxle Le Roux: National calls for tougher sentencing after hit-and-run driver gets home detention

The National Party says the perceived light sentence given to a woman who killed a teen in a hit-and-run shows New Zealand needs to be tougher on crime.

Rouxle Le Roux, 19, was sentenced to 11 months' home detention and 250 hours' community service for the death of Nathan Kraatskow.

The call for a harsher sentence has resonated with Kiwis, with more than 85,000 people signing a petition to appeal it.

"At least we know we're not crazy, and we're not the only ones that feel that way," says Nathan's mother Charlene Kraatskow.

The 15-year-old was cycling home when he was hit by a car at an Albany intersection in May. He died at the scene, but it took 16 hours for Le Roux to turn herself into police.

"I just feel that her consequences for taking a life does not meet the crime she did," says Mrs Kraatskow.

In court, Le Roux's remorse was taken into account - but the Kraatskow family says her actions on social media prove otherwise.

She posted a picture of herself dressed as a prisoner on Halloween, with a caption saying 'hide your children'.

Rouxle Le Roux: National calls for tougher sentencing after hit-and-run driver gets home detention
Photo credit: Rouxle Le Roux / Instagram

After being sentenced, she posted a picture to Instagram about all the friendships she'd made since Nathan's death. 

"Her reactions on Instagram and stuff like that, to us we see no remorse," says father Orion Kraatskow.

National says this isn't the first time a light sentence has been handed down to a person who has committed serious offending.

"We feel like we're going in the wrong direction," says National's Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell.

"We feel like the risk is being transferred to the community, we feel like this is going to be a growing trend around very light sentences."

But the Government says nothing has changed.

"All the laws we have in place are the laws we've had in place for a few years now, and judges have to be left to do their decision," says Justice Minister Andrew Little.

Mrs Kraatskow says the justice system needs to set an example.  

"Even our daughter said to us 'Mum, she's sitting at home. She can watch YouTube, she can watch Netflix, she can get Uber Eats'."

They want Le Roux jailed for three years, saying if she isn't punished sufficiently, she could strike again. 

"Three years down the line she might be in the same situation because she hasn't learned anything."

The Kraatskows plan to present their petition to Parliament, saying they don't want another family to go through the same pain.


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