The Dim-Post

August 22, 2012

Let that be a lesson to you

Filed under: crime — danylmc @ 2:57 pm

Stuff reports:

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.)


  1. To be fair, an appeal has been lodged, so he’s technically on bail, not home detention. And waiving the standard condition of “don’t leave the country” so you can attend a wedding seems fair enough. Its the last paragraph which is truly outrageous.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant (@norightturnnz) — August 22, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

  2. One law for them…and another for the rest of us. This fraudster is still committing frauds…..lying about his wide’s condition to the court. A “please Explain” would appear to be in order…..and maybe revoking bail because this guy just doesn’t seem to……..get it. You know…the not lying and cheating thing.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — August 22, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  3. Que Garth McVicar…

    Comment by nw — August 22, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  4. As long as he’s not painting his roof.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 22, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  5. Madame DeFarge still causing problems I see

    Comment by Ron — August 22, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  6. Will any of this be up for discussion at his bail hearing? I suspect not.

    Comment by billbennettnz — August 22, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  7. (I note that the Sensible Sentencing Trust has yet to comment on this issue.)

    I do not doubt that the SST will be aghast at this. They have spoken out about the lenient treatment of white collar crime in the past.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — August 22, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  8. What about that Mark Ellis guy, that was a white collar crime syndicate that seems to have had no or little consequences.

    Comment by Dan — August 22, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

  9. it’s interesting, also, to speculate on the chance that a poorly educated maori or pasifika man would have had of gaining leave to travel overseas in similar circumstances, ie, if he was serving a sentence of home detention and his daughter was getting married in, hmmm, let’s say Samoa….

    Comment by lucyjh — August 22, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  10. I’m with I/S – how rare is it for people to granted the right to travel for family weddings as part of bail? Sounds relatively acceptable to me. The wife’s travel sounds potentially dodgy but would need to understand the full context of the appeal request (did they say she can’t travel at all so he needs to be in Sydney? Or that she can’t permanently travel to NZ? Or that she can’t travel regularly enough?)

    The comments on the article prove how great a trigger story it is though…

    Comment by garethw — August 22, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  11. A decent member of society was accused of a crime. Isn’t that punishment enough?

    Comment by George D — August 22, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  12. A decent member of society was accused of a crime. Isn’t that punishment enough?

    To paraphrase my fathers ex-wife:

    “John (Barlow) couldn’t have done it. I play golf with him.”

    Comment by Gregor W — August 22, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  13. It’s those criminals masquerading as decent members of society that you have to watch out for. And only the appeals court can tell which is which.

    Comment by Moz in Oz — August 22, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  14. Well, at least I have learned something new today, tricoteuse, and I admit that I had to google it. However for the longest time I did suspect though that you were of the knitting kind, Danyl

    Comment by eszett — August 22, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  15. Sensible sentencing is only interested in kicking the hell out of people once they are in prison, being there is not enough. Good grief we heat the cells in winter?

    Sensible sentencing does not concern itself about respectable European “suits” that are not in prison. These convicted ones have only stolen peoples life savings..

    No dramatic headlines for McVicar in that.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — August 22, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  16. the SST will be aghast

    Very quietly aghast. Does passport fraud con’t as white collar crime?

    Comment by Rich d'Rich (@rich_d_rich) — August 22, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  17. LOL. The DimPost unwittingly becomes a parody of itself.

    Comment by Tim — August 22, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  18. There’s been a lot ‘plaining bout crims and their comeuppance recently.

    one impotrtant thing to remember about punishement is that it’s primary goal is to stop others seeking revenge. The State is a mechanism for stopping feuding.

    Comment by NeilM — August 22, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

  19. Tim, The Dimpost has always been a parody of itself, and wittingly as much as unwittingly. Did you think it was called ‘The Dimpost’ in honour of your contributions to the comments section?

    Comment by kahikatea — August 22, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  20. No it hasn’t it has been a parody of the Dominion Post. No. Thanks for your input though.

    Comment by Tim — August 22, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  21. ‘…No it hasn’t it has been a parody of the Dominion Post. No. Thanks for your input though.

    Comment by Tim — August 22, 2012 @ 10:19 pm…”

    Looks like we’ve got another one of those anti-flouride campaigners.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 22, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  22. @Tim – This is hardly ‘a parody of itself’, this is doing exactly what the Dim-Post does best. Pointing out a hypocrisy that otherwise goes pretty much unnoticed.

    Comment by alex — August 22, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  23. It’s never been a parody of the Dominion Post, Leon. Where did you pick that idea up from?

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 23, 2012 @ 7:02 am

  24. Look, stop trying to gainsay Tim/Leon/Wusel’s claims. He has an IQ of 155, and so can see things the rest of you morons are unable to.

    Comment by flashing Light — August 23, 2012 @ 7:09 am

  25. Wrestling with pigs boys and girls will get you all dirty

    Comment by merv — August 23, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  26. Now you mention it, wrestling with pigs, boys and girls sounds like it could be fun.

    Comment by lyndon — August 23, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  27. Careful lyndon.

    That kind of frolicking will result in catching a dose of Teh Gay / unholy matrimony according to Bob.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 23, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  28. Ah, Swine Flu ~ Gay Flu

    Comment by merv — August 23, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  29. If unaddressed violent crime leads to vigliantism, then unaddressed fraud and greed has Robin Hood.

    And rememeber McVicar’s comments on the Pihema Cameron/Bruce Emery Case? He described Emery as ‘a different kind of offender’ who should have been acquitted. And no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge either.

    Sanc: “Looks like we’ve got another one of those anti-flouride campaigners.”
    I was thinking more a reader of the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.

    Comment by deepred — August 23, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  30. Ha ha ha, coming from Marx’ arse thats funny reddie.

    Comment by Tim — August 23, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  31. > attend his daughter’s two weddings

    His daughter is getting married twice?

    Comment by Ross — August 23, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  32. alex, my dear girl, idiots like you are a parody.

    Comment by Tim — August 23, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  33. His daughter is getting married twice?

    Likely two ceremonys, same couple. Pretty common if you and your partner are of different religions.

    Or, the two familes hate each other.

    Comment by Phil — August 24, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  34. Here is the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s take on the Peter Steigrad bail issue:

    Maybe now you can call off the sit-in at the registry and put away the placards until you’ve found another reason to hate the SST.

    Comment by Tussock — August 24, 2012 @ 1:42 pm


    In short: Appeal fails, ordered to report to probation service on Wed 29th. Wedding expected to be on the 8th of September, so it sounds like the system is working.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — August 24, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  36. “His daughter is getting married twice?”

    Bigamy is such an ugly word.

    Comment by billbennettnz — August 24, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

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