Questions Raised Over 'Soft' Firearm and Drug Supply Sentencing in Coffs Harbour

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Questions Raised Over 'Soft' Firearm and Drug Supply Sentencing in Coffs Harbour

The sentences handed down to three men in Coffs Harbour District Court on Friday has left some in the community questioning whether they are adequate.

The arrests last year came after the great work of Coffs Clarence detectives attached to Strike Force Stanlea in relation to the supply of prohibited firearms.

Search warrants in February 2017 in Glenreagh and Coffs Harbour uncovered the firearms, along with a quantity of drugs.

Following the sentencing, some bystanders outside the Court in Coffs Harbour were dumbfounded by the penalties given.

Judge Whitford handed down the sentences, with one man due for parole on 31 May 2018, while the other two men will be due for parole in less than 2 months time.

Lawson Marshall Ney, 22, was being sentenced for various charges relating to the unlawful sale and supply of firearms, plus a number of charges of drug supply, and the supply of a pistol to an unauthorised person.

Judge Whitford sentenced Lawson Ney to an aggregate term of imprisonment of 2 years, 6 months to commence on 1 September 2017 and expiring on 29 February 2020 with a non-parole period of 9 months.  However, Lawson Ney is to be released to parole on 31 May 2018, the day prior to his sentencing.

He was also placed on a 4 year good behaviour bond.

His brother, David Carter Ney was found guilty of 5 separate charges relating to the supply and sale of firearms and also drug related charges.  The same Judge sentenced him to an aggregate term of imprisonment of 3 years to commence on 1 February 2017 and expiring on 31 January 2020 with a non-parole period of 1 year, 6 months.

David Ney is to be released to parole on 31 July 2018.

The third man, Scott Daniel Anderson, will also be due for parole on 31 July 2018 after Judge Whitford sentenced him to an aggregate term of imprisonment of 3 years to commence on 1 February 2017 and expiring on 31 January 2020 with a non-parole period of 1 year, 6 months.

His charges also related to firearm supply, and drugs charges.

The latest sentences handed down in Coffs Harbour have many questioning the seriousness taken by the judicial system, and whether it does actually reflect the expectation of community.

Outside the court, one man told Triple M, “I’m disgusted. How can we expect the streets to be safer when this is going on, Police work hard to catch them, and the Courts let them go. Seems soft”.

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