The 2002 case of R v Castles NZCA 109 involved a Crown appeal against a sentence of two and a half years’ imprisonment for a serious sexual assault by a group of men on a fellow male, which was part of a pattern of bullying. The Court of Appeal accepted the sentencing judge’s decision that the need for retribution had in part been met by one offender’s attendance at a conference with the victim’s parents, where the offender apologized to the victim and his family (para. 19). The court accepted that the apology provided partial satisfaction of the need for retribution and so mitigated the length of the punitive sentence imposed.

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