Criminals shouldn't "suffer" for crimes, says judge

The judge who jailed Harriet Wran over her involvement in a murder says most prison terms are “excessive”.
The judge who jailed Harriet Wran over her involvement in a murder says most prison terms are “excessive”.

THE judge who jailed Harriet Wran over her involvement in the murder of an ice dealer says most prison terms  are "excessive" and they are not always "deterrents" from crime.

Wran, the daughter of the late NSW premier Neville Wran, may be free from jail in weeks after she was sentenced on Monday for her  role in the robbery and murder of Daniel McNulty in Redfern three years ago.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison ordered the 28-year-old woman to serve a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years behind bars.

Wran spent two years in custody in the lead-up to Monday's decision and as a result she will be eligible for parole next month.

The court previously heard Wran was high on ice as she listened to her boyfriend, Michael Lee, and another man, Lloyd Haines Daniel, kill Mr McNulty during a botched drug deal.

Justice Harrison told Wran he reduced her sentence for robbery and acting as an accessory to murder because of the negative media coverage surrounding her case.

The Daily Telegraph has published comments made by Justice Harrison in 2008 that indicate he advocates a softer approach to prison terms.

He told a conference eight years ago that  the sentencing process was "shackled to some kind of fear".

He said most jail terms were excessive and "far too long".

"Psychopathic and dangerous recidivists are in a special category and should ­remain so," he said.

"Put them aside for the purposes of this example.

"What is the answer? What terrible things would happen? I think the answer is 'Probably not many'."

He went on to say the community does not benefit from criminals who "suffer" while locked up.

"As a result they (criminals) are punished and suffer more than they should and we, the community, acquire no corresponding benefit in economic, social or emotional terms," the justice said. - ARM NEWSDESK




Topics:  court crime editors picks harriet wran neville wran

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