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Parliament

Call to appeal ‘inadequate’ child pornography ruling

THE Attorney-General has called for one appeal and will be asked to consider another on penalties handed down to two serious offenders by the same Cairns judge in less than a month.

Yvette D'Ath has labelled the sentence given to repeat child porn offender Dennis Gerard Brincat "manifestly inadequate" and a spokesman said she had requested the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal.

The 40-year-old Mena Creek banana farmer received a fully suspended 18-month jail sentence from Judge Dean Morzone last month despite being found with 1500 illicit images three years after being released from jail for the same type of offending.

The Attorney General has ordered an appeal against a sentence handed down by Cairns District Court Judge Dean Morzone.
The Attorney General has ordered an appeal against a sentence handed down by Cairns District Court Judge Dean Morzone.

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He was a reportable offender at the time, but the sentence meant he would not spend a day behind bars.

The sentence raised the ire of child safety advocate Hetty Johnston and the LNP, who called for an immediate appeal.

Another sentence of Judge Morzone's has now also come under fire after he granted immediate parole to a Cairns man last week who knocked a man unconscious with a single punch in a McDonald's restaurant.

Footage of Luke Daniel Chitty, 26, hitting the 38-year-old in the Esplanade store in August last year was played in court, showing the pair having a brief altercation beforehand.

The victim was unconscious for two minutes and had his jaw broken in three places requiring surgery, with his injuries forcing him to quit his job as a pilot.

Chitty fled the scene.

Lawyers for Chitty, who received a 2½-year sentence but will also not serve jail time for grievous bodily harm, argued he had been provoked and had mental health issues at the time, which Judge Morzone accepted.

During the sentencing last Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald submitted for a sentence between two and four years with actual jail time.

A spokesman from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the matter would be reviewed.

"The ODPP routinely reviews all sentences imposed by the court determine if they warrant an appeal," he said. "This matter is no different."

The maximum sentence for grievous bodily harm is 14 years jail.

Originally published as Call to appeal 'inadequate' child porn ruling