On the same day a young man faces the prospect of a minimum eight-year gaol term for the new offence of assault causing death while intoxicated, police pondered whether or not to charge James Packer. Packer was involved in a fight with friend of 35 years and head of Channel Nine David Gyngell. It’s entirely hypothetical, but had Packer been intoxicated and Gyngell hit his head and died, would he be deserving of spending 8 years in prison? Would the media be trawling through the internet for photos of Packer looking intimidating and brandishing alcohol like they did to the young man from Blacktown in court today? Stripping judges of discretion to hand down sentences reflective of all the facts of a case creates a real possibility of injustice. Sooner or later the person charged with this law will not be someone the media can so easily hold up as a trophy because they’re young and have a Facebook account with photos of them drunk and acting silly.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP2Wrog58E8