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Police shooters sentenced

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  • Police shooters sentenced

    What an absolute disgrace....

    THE mother of a Victorian police officer who was shot in the head by two men fresh out of prison is “disgusted” his attackers will spend just six years back in jail.

    Constable Ben Ashmole was badly wounded by shotgun pellets on July 7, 2015 while trying to intercept Rodney Phillips and Sam Liszczak.

    The pair had come from firing shots that night at the home of George Williams, the father of murdered Melbourne drug kingpin Carl Williams. They had only been out of prison a few days.

    The pair were sentenced in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with Phillips to serve a maximum of eight years in prison, with a non-parole period of six years and two months.

    Liszczak will serve a maximum of seven years and 10 months, with a non-parole period of six years.

    Constable Ashmole had been in the job for just 18 months, and still has 11 pellets lodged in his skull following the shooting.

    He says he was conscious during the whole ordeal and remembers everything. “It’s an ongoing issue, it’s something I deal with every day,” he said outside court on Tuesday.

    “There’s obviously additional stressors, sleepless nights, extra concerns pulling over cars, (I’m) more cautious in everything I do.”

    Constable Ashmole’s mother, Sharen Joy, said she hoped to see his attackers get 15 or 20 years in prison for the pain the family has suffered.

    “The anguish as a parent, as a mother to get that phone call first thing in the morning, to tell me that my son had been shot in the head, you never get over that,” she told reporters.

    “He could have murdered my son.

    “I’m really, really upset and angry at such a small sentence.”

    In sentencing the two men, Justice Michael Croucher took into consideration their young age — Phillips is 25 and Liszczak is 23 — and their prospects of rehabilitation, which he described as “guarded”.

    But Justice Croucher couldn’t overlook the “gratuitous and merciless” shooting at close range.

    “To be subjected to such frightening violence is totally unacceptable,” he said.

    As the men were being led into custody, Liszczak shook Phillips’ hand and smirked, saying “see ya” as he left the courtroom.

    Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said the sentences were “manifestly inadequate ... and an indictment on our justice system.

    Mr Gatt said Constable Ashmole went within millimetres of death and still has 11 pellets lodged in his head while his partner Tom Wospil was lucky to escape serious injury.

    “Today’s sentencing confirms what we and the community have suspected for a long time — that our justice system is failing when someone can shoot at a police officer in the back of the head and receive such a pitifully light sentence,” he said.

    “Such a woeful sentence disrespects many in our community who deserve so much more.

    “It is little wonder we are seeing such flagrant disrespect for our law on a daily basis. The crooks are winning. It’s high time this changed."

  • #2
    What a joke. I hope karma catches up to these clowns

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    • #3
      The DPP have a lot to answer for as well. They dropped the serious charges to avoid a trial. Even so, the maximum sentence for recklessly cause serious injury is 15 years.

      Why would anyone bother relying on the legal system to look after them?

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      • #4
        That's sickening.
        I make my living on Irish welfare.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post
          The DPP have a lot to answer for as well. They dropped the serious charges to avoid a trial. Even so, the maximum sentence for recklessly cause serious injury is 15 years.

          Why would anyone bother relying on the legal system to look after them?
          According to this article in The Age, "The charge of recklessly causing injury carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, and Justice Croucher said he believed the sentences he imposed for that charge – four years in jail for each man – were among the highest imposed for that charge in Victoria."

          I'm sure I'm not alone in being of the opinion that calling it "recklessly causing injury" is entirely wrong. That might be appropriate when, for example, someone is driving recklessly fast, and thereby accidentally causes a collision that results in injury to another. Deliberately shooting at someone is not reckless -- if it's not justified, it's murderous.

          Other available accounts include information to the effect that their lawyers argued that there was no way to prove which one fired the shot, so each is entitled to the presumption that it was the other one, and that in order to prove the non-shooter guilty of attempted murder, he'd have to have been a full participant in the shooting at least insofar as having known that the shooter was going to shoot at someone, and that the shooting was reasonably likely to cause death of someone.

          I think it's obvious that the shooter, whichever of the two it was, is guilty of attempted murder, and because they were, both of them, knowingly and willingly engaged in ongoing felonious activity at the time and thereafter as part of a co-operational sequence of actions, they are both guilty at least of accessory to attempted murder.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Monty Ealerman
            According to this article in The Age, "The charge of recklessly causing injury carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, and Justice Croucher said he believed the sentences he imposed for that charge – four years in jail for each man – were among the highest imposed for that charge in Victoria."

            I'm sure I'm not alone in being of the opinion that calling it "recklessly causing injury" is entirely wrong. That might be appropriate when, for example, someone is driving recklessly fast, and thereby accidentally causes a collision that results in injury to another. Deliberately shooting at someone is not reckless -- if it's not justified, it's murderous.

            Other available accounts include information to the effect that their lawyers argued that there was no way to prove which one fired the shot, so each is entitled to the presumption that it was the other one, and that in order to prove the non-shooter guilty of attempted murder, he'd have to have been a full participant in the shooting at least insofar as having known that the shooter was going to shoot at someone, and that the shooting was reasonably likely to cause death of someone.

            I think it's obvious that the shooter, whichever of the two it was, is guilty of attempted murder, and because they were, both of them, knowingly and willingly engaged in ongoing felonious activity at the time and thereafter as part of a co-operational sequence of actions, they are both guilty at least of accessory to attempted murder.
            I didn't see the article in The Age, I read the story somewhere else and I assumed that the charge they went with in the end was 'recklessly cause serious injury' but the fact that the OPP went with 'recklessly cause injury' makes their decision even more contemptible.

            Murder and attempted murder are common law offences and I don't know all the ins and outs of case law surrounding them but I would expect that the act of deliberately firing at a police car goes beyond a reckless type of conduct. Recklessly causing injury is the sort of charge we use when someone assaults someone and injures them. Something like giving someone a black eye or a cut lip.

            As to proving who fired the shot and whether the conduct of the other offender could be considered to be aiding and abetting, I believe that's something for a trial to uncover if they want to plead not guilty and force the issue. Even if the OPP didn't proceed with an attempted murder charge there are a few other charges to stick them on with that carry higher penalties.

            Causing serious injury intentionally with gross violence - 20 years
            Causing serious injury recklessly with gross violence - 15 years
            Conduct endangering life - 10 years
            Using firearm to prevent arrest - 10 years

            I suppose at the end of the day the OPP went with the charges they thought would stick and get a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity. Whether they were appropriate or not is debateable but I suppose in the Director of Public Prosecutions's eyes they got a plea of guilty, a decent sentence on the charges they did proceed with and saved the time and expense of a trial. Defence are happy with the reduced sentence and they get their fees. The crooks are happy because they shot at the coppers and will be out of prison in a couple of years.

            I wonder how Constable ASHMOLE feels...

            Comment


            • #7
              Stricter penalties on drive-by shootings are going to be implemented, apparently as a result of this. I believe South Australia did a similar thing after a surge in drive-bys a few years back, too.

              http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-2...g-laws/8465056

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