Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton described the sentence as inadequate and asked for submissions to Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions requesting an appeal. No appeal will be filed.

Steven Cleary was last month jailed for three years and two months for a “horrific” daylight attack against two officers at Warrnambool in October 2021.

The 51-year-old beat one officer with a metal bat to the point where he thought he was going to die, and tried to Taser another.

When Cleary was finally brought to the ground, he repeatedly said: “Gentlemen, I am the king. Get your hands off me.”

Both police officers felt they couldn’t continue on in the force after the distressing and harmful attack.

Sentencing judge Anne Hassan said she had to consider other factors too, including Cleary’s significant mental health issues and his delusional belief he was the legitimate sovereign or king of Australia, Norway, and other nations.

She ordered he serve at least one year and 10 months of the sentence, before he’s eligible for parole.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton described Cleary’s sentence as inadequate and asked for submissions to Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions requesting an appeal.

But no appeal will be filed, the Office of Public Prosecutions said on Thursday.

“In light of all of the relevant sentencing considerations, there is no reasonable prospect that the Court of Appeal would consider the sentence to be manifestly inadequate,” the office said in a statement.

They referenced principles guiding mental impairment, the value of a guilty plea and absence of prior convictions.

That an appeal could not be considered represented a dire fault with the legal system, The Police Association Victoria’s secretary Wayne Gatt said. 

“(This has) brought into the consciousness, for all in the community to see, just how wrong the system can get it sometimes,” he told reporters.

“Our members have a window into that system every day, and indeed, in every court across Victoria, every day victims of crime walk out, scratching their heads.”

The state government had decided to reconvene it’s Emergency Workers Harm Prevention Taskforce in light of the decision, he said.

The union welcomed the move, and said sentencing that meets community expectations had to become a priority and reality in Victoria.

It would be unfair to blame prosecutors for the outcome, Mr Gatt said.

“What they’re telling us and what they’re demonstrating is if they can’t appeal this, then surely the system is wrong. Surely the system is broken, and surely the system is ripe for reform,” he said.

Mitigating factors, particularly with mental health outcomes, were being used to disproportionately mitigate against serious offending, Mr Gatt said.

“It’s being misused, it’s being abused, and it’s having perverse outcomes for the broader community,” he said. 

Vigilante News

Vigilante News

Tasmanian local news source.

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