Convicted Bridgecorp director Peter Steigrad is holidaying in Europe despite being only part way through a nine-month home detention sentence.
Steigrad filed an appeal against his sentence after serving just seven weeks of home detention and returned to his home in Sydney on bail in early July where his ill wife is based.
He has now taken the opportunity of bail to, with court approval, attend his daughter’s two weddings on either side of the English Channel.
Steigrad’s ill wife has also travelled to the wedding despite the appeal being based on the humanitarian grounds that he wanted to move closer to her in Sydney because she cannot travel to New Zealand to be with him.
Punishment in the criminal justice system is supposed to have an element of deterrence: the theory is that people make a rational decision when they decide to commit a crime, and if the risk of punishment outweighs the perceived reward they don’t break the law.
Most law-breakers tend to be desperate, or stupid, or drunk or on drugs, or suffering from mental-illness, so the deterrence theory doesn’t really work – except in the case of white-collar criminals, who are in a position to make a rational decision to break the law. Call me a blood-thirsty old tricoteuse, but I don’t think the threat of imprisoning these people in their mansions for several months and only letting them out to go on holiday to Europe is an adequate deterrence.
(I note that the Sensible Sentencing Trust has yet to comment on this issue.)