Facebook : Judge Philippa Cunningham should be banned

Sunday 4 September 2011, 8:54AM
By Jimbo Gentry

Facebook group "Judge Philippa Cunningham should be banned" is gaining membership online.

Auckland District Court judge Philippa Cunningham allowed a high-profile celebrity comedian who sexually abused his four-year-old daughter whilst intoxicated to walk free and granted him permanent name suppression.

Facebook users outraged with the judge’s decision are calling for her immediate resignation.

The NZ Herald reported on Friday the comedian "went to bed with his partner after returning home drunk from a Christmas work party in December 2009. After he fell asleep, his four-year-old daughter came into the couple's bedroom and got into bed with them."

"Judge Cunningham read from the police summary which said the man laid his daughter on her back, pulled down her pyjama pants and nappy and kissed her."

Warren Smith wrote on the Facebook page : "judge should be hung too , letting the sexual preadtor walk the streets. it is a digrace, it makes me sick he can get away with because he makes pepole laff, judge philippa you a muppet , you should stood down as a judge who was the comdiean."

Laura Caine accused the judge of setting a precedent for pedophiles and slapping survivors of sexual abuse in the face.

Mrs Caine said the comedian's name suppression won't work because "everyone wants to know who he is."

Judge Cunningham said  in her ruling the comedian had stopped drinking and had paid a high price in his personal and work life.

"He's a talented New Zealander. He makes people laugh. Laughter is an incredible medicine and we all need lots of it.''

In February 2010, the controversial Judge aborted a rape trial she was presiding over so she could go on holiday to Australia.

This forced the alleged rape victim to give her evidence twice.

New Zealand sexual offense laws stipulate that victims of sexual abuse must not have their identity revealed.