90yo WW2 Vet Murdered - Convicted Criminal sentenced to 13years
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On the 14th September 2015, our Dad and Pop, Kenneth Handford was asleep in his bed in rural Victoria. It was the eve of his 90th Birthday. Upon being woken by 2 intruders he was beaten, bound and stabbed in the back 13 times. He was left to die while anchored to his bed, unable to get help and all alone. His pacemaker showed it took 4 hours and 38 minutes from the initial attack for him to succumb to his injuries. Approximately $3900, Pop's WW2 medals and some personal items were stolen. VIC Police worked hard to bring the offenders to justice. Jonathon Jeffrey Cooper (28) was arrested some 6 weeks later. A plea of guilty was eventually entered on the condition he plead guilty to Common Law Murder, Aggravated Burglary and Theft as well as making an undertaking to testify against his co-accused.
Justice Dixon sentenced Cooper to -
15 years Common Law Murder
2 years Aggravated Burglary (12 months concurrent)
6 months Theft (wholly concurrent)
Total effective sentence 16 years. Non - parole period was set at 13 years. With time served he could be on the streets in 11 and a half years. Free to continue his life in his early forties.
Justice Dixon noted that had Cooper not co-operated with the prosecution, made an admission that he was the stabber, shown remorse and in her opinion had reasonable prospects of rehabilitation his term would have been 27 years with a non-parole period of 25 years.
Cooper, an IV ice user, had a previous conviction for Aggravated Burglary and theft with features similar to this case. He was sentenced to 20 months with a non-parole period of 5 months. He has other convictions to which we have no knowledge.
Knowing the legal system, we were not anticipating what we believe to be an appropriate sentence for such a horrific crime against our much loved Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. We were cautioned to expect even lower than what we thought. But this is something else entirely.
Our purpose -
1. We are calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr John Champion, to lodge an appeal against the sentence imposed on Jonathon Cooper for Murder, Aggravated Burglary and Theft.
2. We are insisting that the Attorney General Martin Pakula and all those with the power to do so; reform current sentencing practices to come into line with community expectations. That being the way we deal with serious offenders and harsher sentences for serious offences.
Unfortunately, the DPP only has 28 days to appeal a sentence, this time ends on the 19th May 2017. We we would like to present this petition to the DPP on Wednesday the 17th May 2017 to ensure action can be taken.
A loud message needs to be sent to offenders that if you harm those we should be protecting, then you won’t be seeing the light of day for a long time.
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