Family gutted as Attorney-General opts against appeal
THE BROTHER of a man killed in a one-punch attack says he is angered by the decision not to appeal the sentence imposed for the crime.
Terry Bishop received a phone call from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions this week confirming the Attorney-General would not proceed with an appeal against the sentence handed down to 20-year-old Ariik Mayot last month.
The office of Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions was sought before making the decision, which has also been met with criticism from Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker.
Ariik Mayot was sentenced to just under six years in jail when he faced at Brisbane Supreme Court.
Mayot earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful striking causing death, relating to an attack on Ipswich grandfather Lindsay Ede in June, 2015.
Ariik Mayot was the first person in Queensland to be charged with the offence, which was introduced in reaction to the public outcry over one-punch deaths.
Although the offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes took into account 21 months served in pre-sentence custody when she sentenced Mayot to just under six years in jail
He will be eligible for parole in 2020.
Mr Bishop says he is worried the sentence sets a low bar for other people felled by coward punches.
"You've got all these other families who have lost loved ones in a similar way; how are they going to feel now," Mr Bishop said.
"Before sentencing they were saying he could get life in prison, or 15 years as a worst case scenario.
"When they told me they won't appeal, I just said, 'this is not right'. Why would you implement this new law in the first place if you are not going to follow through with tough sentencing?
"This will not be a deterrent. You are basically saying to people that if you are going to kill someone, punch them and make sure their head hits the ground, and you'll be out in about five years."
Mr Walker said he believed Ms D'Ath should appeal, regardless of the ODPP's advice.
"The LNP took steps to bring in strong laws and expected they would send a strong message to the courts," he said.
"We feel this sentence should be appealed - for the sake of both Mr Ede's family and the families of others who have lost their lives in this way - because we are concerned it sets a very low bar.
"Our view is that this being the first of these cases, it is important to test whether the judge's view was right."
A spokeswoman from Ms D'Ath's office said the ODPP's advice was that there were no sufficient legal grounds for an appeal, and to force the issue would provide false hope for Mr Ede's grieving family.
"The Attorney General had sought advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions because the six year sentence handed down by Chief Justice Catherine Holmes earlier this month was the first application of the new laws," the spokeswoman said.
"The ODPP has advised that there are not sufficient grounds for a successful appeal.
"The ODPP has also advised that the new provisions mean that the offender will spend more time in prison than he would have if he had simply been charged with manslaughter."
Mayot will have to serve a minimum of 80% of his sentence behind bars, though this comes as little consolation to Mr Ede's family. Mr Bishop says he and his family will continue to promote the One Punch Kills message.