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Man who threw daughter to death denied appeal

AUSTRALIA: Arthur Freeman, who threw his four-year-old daughter to her death off Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, has been denied the right to appeal his 32-year sentence for the horror murder.

Friday 29 July 2011, 02:27AM

Australian murderer Arthur Freeman has been denied the ability to appeal his 32-year sentence.

Australian murderer Arthur Freeman has been denied the ability to appeal his 32-year sentence.

Freeman in April was jailed for life with a non-parole period of 32 years after a jury convicted him of murdering his daughter Darcey.

He argued for the right to appeal his sentence on the basis that 32 years was manifestly excessive.

But the Victorian Court of Appeal today ruled that the sentence was not manifestly excessive and refused Freeman’s application to appeal.

“In the present case, I do not regard it as reasonably arguable that the non-parole period of 32 years was outside the sentencing range open to the sentencing judge in the circumstances of this case,” Justice Chris Maxwell said in his written decision.

“The judge’s findings about the seriousness of this offence were very clear.”

Justice Maxwell said sentencing judge Justice Paul Coghlan highlighted several aggravating features of the crime, including the fact that an innocent child was killed by being thrown from a bridge more than 50 metres above the ground.

Justice Coghlan had also said the murder was witnessed by Darcey’s two other children, was a fundamental breach of trust, and was motivated by Freeman’s desire to hurt his former wife, Justice Maxwell said in his ruling.

Freeman, 37, will be eligible for parole in 2041 – when he will be 67 years old.

Darcey was thrown from the West Gate on what was to be her first day of school - January 29, 2009.

Freeman’s barrister, David Brustman, SC, argued during the trial that his client was mentally- impaired, “mad not bad”, when he killed Darcey.

The jury rejected the defence, after five days of deliberation.



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