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Judicial CP - March 2004

Corpun file 13135

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AAP General News (Australia), 9 March 2004

Western Australia

MP willing to be caned to get corporal punishment back

By Tim Clarke

PERTH, March 9 AAP - A West Australian One Nation MP has offered to be the first recipient of a caning if it helps get corporal punishment introduced onto the state's statute books.

Frank Hough last week called for the introduction of the cane, or birch, as punishment for teenagers involved in drunken fights on Perth's streets.

And today Mr Hough said he was willing to be the first recipient of a caning if Premier Geoff Gallop made corporal punishment a sentencing option for WA's judges before the end of the government's term.

"I believe in judicial corporal punishment. As a lawmaker, I'm prepared to subject myself to any penalty that I would prescribe as fitting punishment for any member of the public who offends," said Mr Hough, who is also One Nation national director.

"In any justice system it's vitally important that justice must be seen to be done.

Victims must be vindicated. The feedback I've received since the suburban riots indicates the majority of Western Australians feel the same way.

In recent weeks, there has been a series of battles in Perth involving drunken youths and police, the biggest being when 3,000 youngsters were involved in a 90 minute confrontation with a riot squad on Australia Day.

Last week, a 17-year-old partygoer at the centre of a riot in Kalamunda, which left 11 police officers injured, walked free from Perth Children's Court without being fined or jailed.

Mr Hough said a generation of "untouchable teenaged thugs and criminals" deserved corporal punishment.

"This government needs to start punishing violent offenders instead of good, law-abiding citizens. Properly applied corporal punishment offers more than a method of punishment or a deterrent," Mr Hough said.

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