Abductor mother given jail time

GnT 28 November 2007 6

A mother who stormed into a child care centre and abducted her two children before fleeing to Queensland, was given a custodial sentence of at least 8 months. (ABC story here; original RiotACT story here.)

After some recent comments (here and here) about the leniency of ACT sentences, particularly suspended sentences when they don’t have to do any actual time behind bars, do you think this sentence is reasonable?

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6 Responses to Abductor mother given jail time
Impassive Impassive 12:43 pm 29 Nov 07

Finally a sentence in accordance with the crime.. sort of..

Holding childcare workers at knifepoint deserves some sort of punishment.. and given what a parent has to do to a child to have it taken away, it is reasonable to assume that this woman should not have had the child in her care..

The rest of the judiciary should take note of this sentence..

I will be interested to see what this woman does when released and whether her gaol time has done anything to modify her bahaviour.

barking toad barking toad 11:27 am 28 Nov 07

Yes heavs, but I was hoping his insane sentencing may bring some force to bear encouraging his retirement. Even that won’t happen while the sad one isn’t allowed to fill the vacancies.

Heavs Heavs 10:54 am 28 Nov 07

I don’t quite understand your argument Mr Toad. What do you mean about Higgins ‘position being safe’? It’s not like it was ever anything else but safe. A Judge has tenure. There are two vacant positions on the bench one through a retirement and one from a death. They are the two which are looking to be filled.

TAD TAD 10:46 am 28 Nov 07

I apologise to Mr Stefaniak.



Author : Bill Stefaniak MLA

ACT Opposition Leader, Bill Stefaniak, is asking what it takes for a serious offenders to be given jail terms in the ACT.
Mr Stefaniak said that with the lowest rate of prison sentences for convicted criminals in Australia, the ACT is a laughing stock nationally and the courts are failing in their duty to protect the community.

“In the Canberra Times today, it is reported that a drug addict who robbed four older women at ATMs and then led police on a dangerous car chase around Canberra only received a suspended sentence and was ordered to spend some time in a non-secure rehabilitation facility. The offender was already on a suspended sentence when he committed these offences.

“The offender preyed on elderly women (the eldest being 87 and 83 years) in attacks in broad daylight and all said in a victim impact statement that they are now scared to go out in public. This offender has materially reduced the quality of life and sense of security of his victims.

“Further, while leading police on a chase through the suburbs, he ran four red lights and put at risk the lives of pedestrians and other drivers on the roads. We have already seen two examples of the deaths of innocents due to repeat offenders or people with drug habits driving recklessly.

“Yet when it comes to sentencing the courts are doing no more than lashing such offenders with a feather. Is it any wonder that the same people cock a snook at authority by constantly re-offending, including when they are on bail, because they have no fear of the consequences.

“I call on the Stanhope government to bring our laws into line with those in NSW (it can adopt the bill I currently have before the Assembly which does this) and I would certainly hope the DPP would appeal this case. You have to wonder why the Government is spending over $128 million on building a prison to which the courts will send very few offender while stinting on education, health, public housing and homeless services, Mr Stefaniak said.

TAD TAD 10:18 am 28 Nov 07

It’s a bit all over the place at the Supreme Court but this sentence is not too bad.

But then when you compare it with that handed out to Matthew Boardman the other day by Mr Higgins. Boardman robbed four elderly ladies at ATMS in July, by pushing them over and grabbing their money and then went on a 45 minute pursuit endangering all and sundry. (3 of the ladies were in their 80s and we’ve learned more recently how dangerous this could be since the death of Jacoba Vandervoorden in Civic)

His punishment? A fully suspended sentence to go to drug rehab. I guess his honour believed arrest was punishment enough.

Funny I remember Mr Stefaniak calling for tougher sentences for nasty crimes at the time of Boardman’s arrest but now it’s not in the paper he is silent. If he proposes mandatory sentencing guidelines I will vote Liberal for the first time in my life next local election. I’m also hoping the new blood on the bench will improve things. (Maria Doogan anyone?)



barking toad barking toad 9:30 am 28 Nov 07

Contrast the decision in this case with the one by wimpy higgins the other day and you wonder if they could possibly come from the same justice system.

Because the mayor won’t allow sad simon to appoint new judges (new applications called for because the last lot didn’t suit the mayor’s socialist leanings) higgins position is safe.

However, now the election is over, watch the mayor arrange appointments of left leaning activists to the bench, ala hulls in Victoria.

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