He glassed a man in the face; a private school education and his looks should not matter in court
  • Petitioning John Champion SC

This petition will be delivered to:

Director of Public Prosecutions
John Champion SC
Office of Public Prosecutions
Office of Public Prosecutions
Office of Public Prosecutions
Solicitor for Public Prosecutions

He glassed a man in the face; a private school education and his looks should not matter in court

    1. Marcus COSTELLO
    2. Petition by

      Marcus COSTELLO

      Sydney, Australia

In April this year, twenty-seven year old Liam Danial Sweeney smashed a glass into a stranger’s face and punched him twice in the head.  Last week, he walked away from court.  His victim still carries the scar.  At Mr Sweeney’s trial, the magistrate described his actions as an “unprovoked and gratuitous assault.

He also said: "not many people are in jail who went to Haileybury or who had your client's privileged background.”  Sweeney’s lawyer argued that not many people in prison “look like him.”  The magistrate responded, “I don't think he'd last very long (in jail).

These comments are really worrying - in fact they're downright scary.  I believe a person’s privileged background should not mean they are privileged in Australia’s courts.  We should all be equal before the law.

Unless the Director of Public Prosecutions appeals this sentence, we’ll never know if Sweeney avoided prison because of the facts that actually matter or just because he comes from a privileged background.  

The DPP has commented to media that they have 28 days to consider whether or not to lodge an appeal.  Those 28 days run out on the 20th of August - so we have to act quickly - and show them that we want to be assured we live in a country with a just court system.

It may well be that another judge will find Sweeney’s sentence was reasonable - that’s not the point.  Like Sweeney, I had a privileged education at a Melbourne private school, but I believe in a legal system where a privileged background is no privilege in the courts.

Attending Haileybury, a prestigious Melbourne school, shouldn’t matter in our courts. The fact that your parents, one of whom is a prominent barrister, are “beside themselves” shouldn’t matter in our courts.  Being a corporate lawyer, as Mr Sweeney is, rather than having any other occupation, shouldn’t matter in our courts.

I believe Sweeney’s actions are all the more horrendous because he is privileged, not despite it.  Please help me show the DPP we desperately need confidence restored to our legal system, by signing my petition asking them to appeal this case.

John Champion SC, Director of Public Prosecutions
Office of Public Prosecutions, Office of Public Prosecutions
Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Office of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions: info@opp.vic.gov.au

In sentencing Liam Danial Sweeney for glassing a man in the face, Magistrate Vandersteen made a series of comments that question the integrity of the legal system he serves.

In the interest of justice, please appeal this sentence.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 25,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Anna MacDonald AUSTRALIA
      • 4 days ago

      The day where this kind of speech between two professionals in court is accepted is the day the court and those 'professionals' lose their creditability in my eyes.

      How dare they bring his privileged life into the court, or his good looks, that man was there to stand trial for a vicious and repeated assault. You don't accidentally smash someone's face with a glass, then with your fist twice.

      A retrial shouldn't even be in question, it just should be, the the JUSTICE of this victim.

      Or shall we let all those who had private education and good looks walk free?

    • Kaylun Dixon AUSTRALIA
      • 2 months ago

      Shouldn't let people like that walk away

      • 4 months ago

      Thing like this happen all too often. Innocent people get hurt and thugs, well educated or not, deserve to be held accountable

    • matt saunders AUSTRALIA
      • 4 months ago

      Cause if the kid gets away with this cause of his so called privileged upbringing this is a miscarriage of justice... Does that word mean anything anymore

      • 4 months ago

      equal justice for al


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