13 February 2009

Recklessly inflicting bodily harm with a car? Go get some therapy you poor dear.

| johnboy
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The ABC brings the sadly unsurprising news that Michael Reiner Kierspel, 30, of Dunlop has been sentenced (by Penfold, H.) to a year of drug and alcohol treatment and a three month suspended sentence.

Was this for some trivial misdemeanor?

Erm, no… not in my opinion at least.

    A Canberra man who drove over a security guard outside an O’Connor bar in May 2007 has been given a three month suspended jail sentence.

So community… what are your expectations here?

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Hilary is at it again:


“Today in sentencing, Justice Hilary Penfold said the attack was particularly cowardly and must have been terrifying for the victim.

Justice Penfold said while the robbery was serious, Keen’s clean record and effort to undergo counselling had to be taken into account.”

yay, perp!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy9:10 pm 14 Feb 09

Everyone knows Canberra is the place to maim/kill/injure someone else deliberately and use a sob story to get away scott free.

gomer said :

(Gomer)”… the rich guy got a fine that his family could easily pay.”

Yep. To quote a well known barrister: “Justice is what you get when you run out of money”.

Could be worse. A couple of years ago in Adelaide a rich guy shot a early morning delivery man in the face, whilst he was in his delivery van. He survived but has lost an eye and massive scarring of course, the rich guy got a fine that his family could easily pay.

Compare to the sentence of Colin Booth who ran over a man who was trying to stop him stealing his car.


Hit-and-run driver to spend more time in jail
Posted Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:42pm AEDT

The ACT Court of Appeal has increased the jail term given to a man convicted of a hit-and-run at Hall in July last year.

The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the perceived leniency of the sentence imposed on 19-year-old Colin Maxwell Booth.

Booth pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, arson, burglary and stealing a car.

In May, Booth was sentenced to six years jail for the hit-and-run and sentenced to concurrent jail terms for the other offences.

He was given a non-parole period of three years.

The 65-year- old victim of the hit-and-run suffered brain injuries and was left in a coma for several weeks.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed the six-year sentence but increased the jail term for arson and ordered that some of the sentences be served consecutively.

The decision means the total jail time has been increased to seven-and-a-half years with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years.

This is the incident



Coicidentally, this incident happened the day after Amber Westin was sentenced

The cat did it3:22 pm 14 Feb 09

Penfold J. needs to explain her decisions better, or at least try to ensure that her decisions get better reporting in the media. Justice may be being done, but it’s also got to be SEEN to be done. I trust she realises that on the face of it, a 3 month suspended sentence for assault with a vehicle seems disproportionately soft. If someone is only lightly injured after being assaulted with a vehicle, then it’s because they were lucky, not because of the skill and intention of the assaulter. What would a drunken assault with an iron bar be worth these days? Sentences are supposed to act as deterrents as well as punishment, but it’s hard to see how this sentence functions as either of these.

barking toad1:23 pm 14 Feb 09

Perhaps Hilary was being pragmatic, expecting that, if she imposed the sentence deserved, Higgins would overturn on appeal and impose something even less than the sentence she eventually imposed.

Either that, or she’s just another dunderhead clogging the bench, out of touch with community values.

Those of us who have worked with Hilary Penfold before she joined the bench honestly thought that she would be a hanging judge. How wrong we were.

Another example of a useless and unfair judicial system.

It’s no wonder you see more and more people taking the law into their own hands and settling things the old fashioned “eye for an eye” way.

Hilary Penfold = Complete Joke.

I remember hearing somewhere that she hadn’t even practiced law before becoming a judge.

So I guess the message is, if you’re going to commit a crime in Canberra, just hopoe for Penfold at the trial. You’ll get off for sure.

…one wonders; if he fails to attend the Drug and Alcohol counselling, will he be sentenced to keeping a diary for 12 months?

Whatever the ACT justice system thinks, I very much doubt most ACT residents would accept this as a fair consequence – no matter what any extenuating circumstances might be… this guy used a car as a weapon to knock someone over, and not satisfied with knocking him over had at least one more go! No matter what the actual outcome of his actions were, his intentions were quite clear…

Its great to know you can get away with delibrately running someone over in a car.

Just gotta get myself a car. Are bullbars still allowed in city areas, don’t want to scratch the duco.

It is bad enough riding a bicycle and dealing with some of the agressive asshole drivers, now they know they can run me over and get away with it. Great.

At the very least I hope he lost his license for the rest of his life.

shauno said :

So you get jail time for hurting a ferret I think it was 12 months from memory but you get bugger all for deliberately running over a human. Righto

Those ferret guys (what are their names again? ;)), were convicted in NSW. They wouldn’t have served time here, I’m betting.

ACT justice system = complete joke

So you get jail time for hurting a ferret I think it was 12 months from memory but you get bugger all for deliberately running over a human. Righto

Um… I’m not calling our ‘sardine packing system’ at all good/perfect. However a suspended sentence is rather weak. Regardless if there’s 1000 cells free or none, the ACT Magistrates Court seem to go weak at the knees every time they walk into the courthouse.

Can’t we just sack them all and start again?

My expectation is complete restitution paid to the guard, paid by the offender.

utah said :

I think ACT judgements ought to be published on the web, ASAP after the trial.

Most are… http://www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/search/judgments.asp

but as this was a plea of guilty then it probably wont be.

I think ACT judgements ought to be published on the web, ASAP after the trial. We already pay people to produce written transcripts of trials; how hard is it to save a copy on a web server?

That way we’d all be able to see what perfectly reasonable arguments were involved in letting this guy walk for what looks (at first glance) a lot like pre-meditated murder. Otherwise people lose faith in our legal system, and start wondering what we’re paying certain magistrates for.

If the driver was a serving member of the AFP, and from what I read in the Canberra Crimes, the DPP would appeal.

Any cops out there willing to back this statement?

So next time you get knocked back for being too drunk run the bloke over.

Pommy bastard7:07 pm 13 Feb 09


There were rumblings within ACT Supreme Court and the Canberra legal fraternity when Hilary got appointed as a Justice.

Existing Justices and local barristers were concerned that she might actually give out some sentences which in their opinion were simply far too harsh.

Well, they were obviously mistaken. Seems as though she has fallen into line.

Surely no-one can be genuinely shocked by this sort of judicial work here in Canberra?

And the saddest thing is, in Canberra, it genuinely isn’t shocking.

Absolutely and unequivocally pathetic

“Kierspel then revved his car again and drove over the man”

Does anyone have Hilary Penfold’s address? Can you please just wait outside then casually rev your car and drive over her next time she’s out for a walk…you needn’t fear anything from our judicial system.

At least he was convicted which makes for a nice change I guess. The penalty given is so inadequate compared to the POSSIBLE sentence. Will DPP try their hand at having the outcome changed? Probably not….

Does anyone know if there were circumstances to allow for this light a sentance. ie, it was an accident and the driver showed extreme remorse?

Or was it more of a ‘It was the alcohol, i had a hard childhood’ defence?

Wasn’t he drunk? If you run over someone while drink driving I’m sure you’d be charged for it. Even if the guy jumped in front of his car.

Maybe we should find this Michael Kierspel and see if next time he’d like to try and run over a certain supreme court justice.

What were the circumstances? It’s ridiculously light if he ran this guy down, but what if it was an accident? What if the guy jumped out in front of him?

Attempted murder, downgraded, 3 month suspended sentence and a trip to AA. Holy donuts.

Q: What’s the difference between a normal law-abiding citizen and a homicidal maniac?

A: a few beers and a spliff.

Something tells me it goes a tad deeper than that, Hillary.

Absolutely disgusting. Is there any way at all to do hard time in this town?

Holden Caulfield5:08 pm 13 Feb 09

So it’s a case of no bars at all then.

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