28 March 2007

DPP appeals rape verdict

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times reports that the Richard Refshauge (the DPP) is appealing another controversial sentence from our little loved judiciary.

The sentence in question is the rape of a 16 year old girl which earned the rapist, Luke Maddison, 20, of Fisher, a paltry 15 months of weekend detention from Justice Terry Connolly.

“Maddison and co-offender Adam Voughan Stewart, 21, of Kambah, coaxed the Year 10 student into their car near Tuggeranong Hyperdome on the night of June 3, 2005, after she had finished work at McDonald’s.

She had consented to get into Stewart’s car, and he drove to his Kambah home where he swapped cars. The two men then drove the victim to an isolated and unlit place near Kambah Pool, where they took turns raping her despite her constant cries for them to stop.

After the assault, the pair dumped the victim in a Kambah street.

UPATED: Thanks to Stan Bowles for the link, here’s the sentencing transcript in which the victim is blamed (yes the victim was silly to get in the car but how does her silliness justify the pack rape?) and Maddison is praised for his “high level of moral courage”.

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Weekend detention simply does not reflect a suitable punishment given the terror the young woman will have experienced. She will have been genuinely frightened that she might be killed – like Jannine Balding. This was not a kid – this was an 18-year-old. I hope that a close eye is kept on whether the detention is carried out. No exceptions for going to watch footy matches with the kids. And let’s hope the little deadshit is required to pay the maximum $50,000 compensation to the victim out of his own pocket.

How about we make them help build the gaol

Get criminals to help build the institution? Woops, we forgot to put the correct amount of (or any) mortar in these bricks.

why don’t we make all prisoners work full time for very little pay

Good idea, but you have to be careful that whatever work you get them to do doesn’t displace law abiding job seekers and businesses on the outside. So this generally only leaves you with very low skilled work (i.e. manufacturing rego plates).

VG, I am outraged that they aren’t out gardening or similar. In other places nearby they certainly are loaded into a troop carrier and put to work under the supervision of uniformed corrections officers. Shaming in front of the community is one of the best punishments I can think of that a civilised society can impose. Locking them up for a long time is the reaction of someone who is unable to think laterally. Costs a lot and achieves little.

If mine was involved? I suggest uncontrollable rage would be the initial reaction. The second reaction would be calculated and probably provide the offender with circumstances that could be raised during sentencing.

Deadmandrinking6:11 pm 29 Mar 07

I agree with the first part of berlina’s comment. In fact, why don’t we make all prisoners work full time for very little pay. It’ll probably stop them from stabbing, bashing and raping each other if they go back to their cells too tired to move.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt11:38 am 29 Mar 07

The sentence is a joke. Weekend detention is a wank. And if he doesn’t turn up on time, noone will do anything about it.

How about we make them help build the gaol, then live there for a while?

Tough 15 months my ass. Do you actually know what they do in weekend detention.? The majority of his time will be spend sitting on his bum doing nothing. They don’t do other people’s gardening. He will be allowed a number of ‘unexplained absences’ and he gets to live in airconditioned comfort.

I can guarantee your opinion would be markedly different should it have been your child involved.

This adds up, by my guesses, to 116 days in custody. Just under 4 months for rape. If you think this is tough I’d hate to see what you consider ‘brutal’. Loss of pocket money for a week?

I think Mr Connolly has made a very wise decision here. The offender gets to work 5 days each week. He then gets to do other peoples gardening on weekends. Seems like a tough 15 months. He does not get to mingle with criminals in a NSW prison and learn bad habits he can use when released. I have one lingering doubt though: why is a “good boy” mixing with a hardened criminal? Something tells me he hasn’t been in trouble before only because he hasn’t been caught.

Having a 15 yo daughter who has just started fast food type work, this case tells me she won’t be walking home.


After the successful Hiller appeal DPP are on a bit of a roll exposing the inadequacies of the ACT judiciary. Having said that Terry Connolly, although I wasn’t a fan when he was a minister, has done some good things. The inconsistency is incredible.

I guess how frustrated myself and my colleagues get is starting to be seen publically with sentences like this.

Why can’t we all justget along?

Re the last few comments, this is only for one of them – the other one is still up for sentencing I believe (and reading some of the contents in this sentencing, it sounds like he might be in line for something harsher).

it was premeditated and the fact that they took the wrap for it straight away means that they knew what they were about to do was wrong.

I hope the appeal is won. This sentence is no more than a token. Sure, these kids probably wont re offend, but the sentence should have some factor of punishment.

I DO plan to write a letter in to my member if the appeal fails.

DarkLadyWolfMother2:06 pm 28 Mar 07

Having read the sentencing, I hereby decline to ever call Connolly ‘Honourable’

And with weasel words like: So periodic detention is not in effect a sentence of periodic detention. It is a sentence of full-time imprisonment but with the rider that it be served on weekends. you have to wonder at how his logic circuits work anyway.

I definiitely agree that they deserve a harsher punishment, and as much as I would like to see them castrated and locked up with some big herpes infested inmate called Bubba – people should be sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment. So a longer continous sentence in a lower security facility would have been far better in this case.

Spake the bleeding heart.

Just remember, this is the same judge that, less than 6 months ago, slotted a rapist for 30 years. There are obviously reasons for his sentencing in this case. It’s very easy to make snap judgments from behind a keyboard. There are many factors that go into sentencing – co-operation with authorities is just one of them. If you don’t like it write to your local member and get the legislation changed. Judges can only go on the legislation they have to work with.

Initially I was appalled.

After reading the sentencing, not so much.

and he wasnt too sorry.

the cops had to turn up to his door.

up until that point he may have thought he got away with it.

Bonfire – totally agree.

We can only hope……

I think sex offenders should be chemically castrated upon a guilty verdict.

Having just read the transcript (stupid flying off the handle, sorry), I’d like to rescind the word “brutal” from my previous post.

The sentence is still far too lenient.

Excuse me? Reduced sentence for “early and complete cooperation”?

So if I beat both offenders to death with a baseball bat one night, but immediately drop it and say “I’m sorry, please arrest me now”, I’ll get off with weekend detention?

Their crime was pre-meditated, callous, and brutal.

It wasn’t that stern a talking to!

I’ve had worse for failling to close a gate.

That’s all very well (and was my first reaction too), but obviously we do have to give some sort of reduced sentence for early and complete co-operation with the authorities (consider that both of them may well have been acquitted if Maddison hadn’t talked). But certainly not reduced so far that it looks like little more than a stern talking to!

Absent Diane11:00 am 28 Mar 07

put them in a lab and test them. Make them give back to society.

i dont care how sorry he is.

stick him in the pokie, not just for a day or two on the weekend.

You can read the sentencing transcript here: http://www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/sentences/maddison.htm

Sometimes judges and their sentences disgust me more than the offenders actions. What message do we as a society give when judges hand down these types sentences ?

Only life or hanging are suitable punishments in my opinion.

perhaps he spends his weekends in a cell with two large hairy gents who take turns raping him despite his constant cries for them to stop ?

Every time I hear the term ‘took turns’ I reach for the nearest heavy blunt object and start googling their names.

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