26 November 2022

Inmate who menaced late brother's partner from prison fails in bid to appeal sentence

| Albert McKnight
Court building

Matthew John Millard, aged 39 or 40, has failed in a bid to appeal his jail sentence. Photo: Albert McKnight.

An inmate at Canberra’s jail has failed in his bid to appeal the sentence he received for menacing his dead brother’s partner from prison.

Earlier this year, Matthew John Millard was found guilty of using a postal service to menace and sentenced to four months’ jail, ending in December 2022, by the ACT Magistrates Court.

He had posted a one-page, handwritten letter to the home of his victim, who had been in a relationship with his brother when the brother died some years before.

“I dream about how I’m going to get my revenge on the woman who killed my big brother,” he wrote.

“You have no idea what kind of person I am and how well connected I am.

“Because of you I couldn’t come to my own brother’s funeral.”

He also wrote that if she didn’t give in to his demand then, “I’ll be out in nine months and hell is going to rain down upon you”.

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The victim said she received the letter in May 2021 and immediately knew it was from Millard, as she recognised his handwriting and saw the words “M Millard” and “AMC Executive Support” on the back of the envelope.

She interpreted Millard’s comments as blaming her for his brother’s death and suggesting he would kill her when he was released from prison.

Millard, who is aged 39 or 40, appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court, arguing in part that it had been manifestly excessive.

He argued he had made efforts to rehabilitate himself while in jail and had been found suitable for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service, a recently released judgement from Acting Justice Verity McWilliam said.

She said the sentencing magistrate had noted how Millard had suffered a brain injury due to a heroin overdose.

The magistrate also noted how he had an extensive criminal history, the fresh offence was committed while he was already serving time in jail for a similar offence, and he hadn’t shown any remorse.

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Acting Justice McWilliam found there was no error in the sentence nor was it manifestly excessive.

“Ultimately, I do not consider that there was no period of imprisonment warranted and once that threshold is crossed, to debate whether the term should have been two months or four months, in my view, would be to engage in impermissible tinkering,” she said.

She dismissed the appeal and confirmed the sentence.

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