Sensiblestuff.co.nz is a partnership between Ron & Faye Bishop, Garth McVicar and The Sensible Sentencing Trust.
Ron & Faye began their relationship with Garth and the SST in January 2010 after the murder of their son Dean, (Read their story below.)
Since Dean’s death, and during their journey to see justice served for the murderers of their son, Ron and Faye have become more actively involved and fully supportive of The Sensible Sentencing Trust.
They recognise that if it were not for Garth, the Trust and it’s mission statement to bring more attention to Politicians of the plights of Victims of Crime, then their journey would have been made considerably more difficult than it already was. One such example of what the Trust’s lobbying has achieved over time was the help, personal support and financial assistance given them by Victim Support.
This assistance allowed for both Ron & Faye to travel and stay in New Plymouth for nearly 8 weeks for the 6 week trial of their son’s killers. Something they would have been unable to do if it were not for that assistance.
Although supportive of the Trust since it’s formation in 2001, Ron has in the past year since his Son was murdered developed a close personal and working relationship with Garth. Ron and Faye both fully endorse the aims of the Trust to bring about more public awareness to the honest and Law Abiding New Zealand public of the inequalities of the Criminal Justice System, the lack of rights to Victims of Crime and for tougher sentencing for Serious and Violent crime.
It is due to the help, support and advice that they received from the Trust and the financial assistance received from Victim Support through their difficult time as well as their desire to now help others who become Victims of Crime that Ron & Faye have established Sensiblestuff.co.nz. It is an official online merchandising business using the Trademarked Sensible Sentencing Trust’s logo with the full support of Garth and The Trust.
Their aim through the sales of official merchandise is to create more public awareness of the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s charter as well as to raise additional financial funding to help the Trust in it’s quest to make more significant change to Law and Order reforms within New Zealand.
Ron and Faye also wish to thank David Vaassen of E-see International for creating the Web site and Alan Dempsey of Amex-tees / Priority Imaging for his help in establishing our range of merchandise.
But particularly they wish to thank you in anticipation of your support of Sensiblestuff.co.nz and the Sensible Sentencing Trust of New Zealand.
The morning of Saturday January 23rd 2010 was no less memorable than any other, probably not too dissimilar for most of you reading this.
We were stirred early by our babies (Cairn Terriers) Missy & Matey on our bed making noises and licking our faces for they were ready to be let out for their morning ablutions and to partake in another day of excitement and adventure around our small farm just north of Auckland.
I too was particularly perky. I was playing in my first Club Championship at the Helensville Bowling Club, having recentlytaken up Bowls. Faye was quite excited for me too as this was the first competitive sport I'd played since giving up rep Golf in '98 due to a major neck injury.
Having breakfast and listening to the radio, we distinctly remember commenting to each other on hearing the news of another homicide and a victim's beaten and decomposing body being discovered in a garage in New Plymouth: "Here we go again. Another poor bloody family devastated. Another mother left distraught and heartbroken" we said to each other "what's going on in this country!" we questioned, "there's just too many damn murders taking place".
That afternoon I came home on cloud 9. I'd bowled really well, even beating the current Junior Champion on the way to Sunday's finals. Faye was happy for me. What a day to remember I thought as we went to bed in preparation for 'my' big day Sunday (Which never came).
Well, that 'memorable' day to remember was soon to come to an abrupt halt! It was to become a day to remember for ALL of the wrong reasons! A day that we went to hell and back, a day that would begin a journey we never ever wanted to embark upon.
For, at precisely 10.50pm that fateful Saturday night Faye, Lee (Deans brother) and I were crudely woken by 6 Detectives banging on our door, informing us that our beloved son (and brother) Dean was dead. "He's been murdered, his body has been found in New Plymouth," they said. Utter disbelief, not our Dean, it just couldn't be true and, in New Plymouth?!! That night, it was our turn to become "that poor bloody family". Our whole world was to be forever changed.
Dean Stuart Browne was a tall, strong, handsome, intelligent, kind and caring man. He was our youngest son (my stepson of 34 years) and although no angel, he was certainly far from "bad". Dean was loved by so many, always the life of the party, adventurous and with a warped and witty sense of humour, Dean still had so much to offer but his life was brutally ended far too soon.
This in vast contrast and totally contrary to the picture painted of him by the defence teams of the "low-lifes" who placed no value on another human beings right to living. The majority of the bush fires created by these legal parasites we were able to extinguish along the way, although it has taken a toll on us, both financially and health wise. (I won't waste space, as most details can be googled.) Particularly, when sucked into a perverse Legal system through no fault of their own, discovering that the victim is the one with no rights whatsoever and that the accused enjoy every right, benefit and entitlement afforded them. These rights and entitlements bequeathed by the tinkering and chipping away of a once forceful and respected Justice System over the decades by Liberalist dogooders hell bent on reinventing Social and Family values.
Our 16 month journey leading up to and including the 6-week trial May/June 2011 clearly showed up some of the fragilities and imbalances of the Legal and Justice System.
Bail allowed for an accused murderer arrested with drugs, loaded firearms and explosives in his possession because he was under 20 years of age. Of all justifications, he may be influenced by "hardened" criminals whilst in Remand!
ALL Crown & Police files including ALL witness statements supplied to the accused While on remand. (Along with Defence Lawyers, this absurd right enables them to fabricate and concoct really fanciful stories to plead their innocence).Evidence of the three accused facing a vicious home invasion and assault, drugs and other charges 3 weeks before murdering our son, deemed TOO PREDJUCIAL to their characters which would not allow them a fair trial if they faced these charges at the same time as the murder trial!
A written and sworn statement (aligning with another witness present) by a sister of one accused that claimed she saw both Karl Nuku and Rhys Fournier hitting our son over the head with hammers. This statement was not presented to the Jury, as she would not swear an oath or an affirmation. As such, Rhys John Fournier of Wellington was acquitted and walked free.
Worst of all in Dean's memory, is the realization that no matter what sentences these scum get if convicted of the remaining charges, they will not serve the length of that sentence on top of their current 18 yr non-parole sentence for the murder of our son. Why then bother with another expensive trial?
Our journey has exemplified just what little value is placed on a person's life in New Zealand. We've discovered first hand a 'Justice System' that's so out of balance and criminally biased that it just beggars belief! If we sound cynical, I think we have every right for we are more qualified than most to pass judgement!
Faye and I extend our sincere thanks to Garth and Anne along with the numerous others involved with Sensible Sentencing for your commitment these past 10 years and for the support, comfort and helping hand extended through these past 21 months. Thanks too, to the excellent support received from the volunteers working at the coalface for Victim Support.