Court sets man free



WILLIAM Harvey Drew walked out of district court sittings in Grafton on Friday a free man after having more than four months cut from his prison sentence.

Drew, 28, the father of six children aged from nine to three months, was sentenced in the Grafton Local Court on July 20 to 12 months' jail with a non-parole period of nine months for stealing $10 from a car.

His Honour, Judge Chris Geraghty, in granting Drew's application for a reduction in his sentence, said Drew had a lengthy criminal record, but hoped he had reached an age where he would reassess his life and stay out of trouble.

"The record (of criminal activity) goes on and on," he said.

"It is clear Mr Drew has caused untold trouble in the community and has been a constant drain on the community since his youth."

But Judge Geraghty said the theft of $10 did seem a small amount for such a lengthy sentence.

"There is no doubt the sentence is surprising and excessive," he said.

He said Drew was instructed to be supervised by the probation and parole service, reside with family, and have drug and alcohol counselling.

"We need you to make a contribution to your people and the community," he said.



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