17 November 2008

Next time do the dirty work yourself.

| 123qwe
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According to the ABC Paul Elson was given a six month prison sentence for concealing evidence related to the death at Charnwood Shops back in July. According to the story he washed clothes worn by the accused murderer (Rebecca Anne Massey) after the stabbing. The offence of concealing evidence carries a maximum punishment of 7 years imprisonment.

2 other people linked to the same incident are also charged with this offence, unsure if they have been dealt with yet.

Six months out of seven years. Soft sentence or about right?

Over to the masses….

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Man jailed for six months after disposing of murder trial evidence

18/11/2008 1:00:00 AM
A man has been jailed for six months for disposing of crucial evidence in the investigation of an alleged murder at Charnwood shops in July.Paul Edward Elson of Palmerston pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to disposing of clothes worn by his friend Rebecca Massey on the night she allegedly murdered Elizabeth Booshand.
Massey, 35, is accused of stabbing Ms Booshand to death at the shopping complex on July 25.

Elson initially denied conspiring with Massey’s neighbours, Michael Marshall and his partner Lisa Jones, to dispose of the jacket, shirt, tracksuit pants and scarf worn by Massey on the night of the alleged killing. But one of Elson’s young children later told detectives that she recognised the bag of clothes passed by her father to Jones and Marshall.

The clothes allegedly match those identified in closed-circuit television footage taken at the shops at the time of the attack on Booshand.

Marshall allegedly told Jones to wash the clothes, but the woman stashed them and passed them on to her friend, Nimmitabel woman Jessica Bartlett.

Bartlett, who lives with her husband and two children in the small town south of Cooma, disposed of the clothes at the local tip before they were moved, along with the rest of the Nimmitabel rubbish, to the Cooma tip.

She initially lied to police about her involvement but later went to investigators and confessed her role in moving the clothes.

Acting on her information, Police and Emergency Services searched at Cooma tip late last month and recovered the clothes.

The court heard yesterday that Massey told Elson on the night of the alleged offence that she had stabbed Ms Booshand earlier in the evening, and that he agreed to her request to take her clothes and wash them.

Elson’s lawyer told the court the father of five was under the influence of alcohol and drugs on the night of the alleged murder and was not aware when he agreed to take Massey’s clothes that Ms Booshand had died.

But Magistrate Maria Doogan rejected the defence’s claim Elson was a minor player in the conspiracy to dispose of the evidence.

”He was the instigator of a chain of events that severely delayed a police investigation,” Ms Doogan said.

”He lied to police and his crime only came to notice when his daughter told police what had happened.”

Elson, who has a criminal record going back 20 years, was sentenced to six months in jail, to run concurrently with a five-month sentence he is serving for another offence.

He will be eligible for parole next March.

The case against Massey, which is expected to involve up to 160 witnesses, will resume next month.

One of the others-Jessica Bartlett?- was given a 4 month suspended term for her part.

I agree that at least it was a sentence.

At least it was a sentence. Provided the murderer themselves got life or at least many many years, I don’t necessarily mind the idea that the person got a 6 month sentence. It kinda ruins their summer for them. To be honest I’d have been more annoyed if they where given community service or just simply told “you’ve been very naughty, don’t do it again” and the let off

Gold Trevar, gold!

And did he intend to conceal evidence, or was he just sick of the mess?

I got in trouble for washing my wife’s bra once. That was a sentence of about six months…

I think it is fine.

Murderers have got less in the ACT.

And it wasn’t as if this evidence was crucial to the conviction, seeing as there are heaps of witnesses to the actual crime. (i’m guessing).

More information required. Eg. first offence or does he have a history of this? What co-operation has he offered police and the prosecution, in this case or related ones?

By way of example, I’m happy enough to give a lighter sentence to an evidence concealer, if the quid pro quo is that a murderer gets put away.

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