Judge goes soft on armed robber

In a case where a multiple armed robberreceived a reduction in her sentence from a judge who overturned thesentence passed earlier by a colleague because the sentence was notthe same as her accomplice husband’s, we find a lack of consistencyacross the judiciary that sends bad signals to the underworld.

It is obvious to any educated casualobserver that the prime mover of these acts was the wife, hence theinitial sentence disparity. The message it sends is that armedcriminals can waste courts’ time with appeals that rewardexploitation of the law.

I believe that Australian law abidinglicensed firearms owners, like me, feel quite uncomfortable whenreading this kind of report.

The Herald Sun report appears below.

Marcus O’Dean


Armed robber receives big cut tosentence

* by: Shannon Deery

* From: Herald Sun

* October 08, 2011 12:00AM

A WOMAN who terrorised pokies venues ina spate of armed crimes with her husband has won a big cut to hersentence.

Methamphetamine addict Raylene Sarvak,30, last year was sentenced to 11 years’ jail with a non-paroleperiod of eight for her part in a western suburbs rampage nettingmore than $16,000.

But yesterday a judge ordered she beeligible for release in less than five years.

Sarvak and her now former husbandAntony Szarvak left their four young children at home withbabysitters when they terrorised staff at five pokies venues.

They were convicted of 15 armedrobbery-related charges as they hit the Glengala Hotel in SunshineWest, St Albans Sports Club, Deer Park Hotel, the Rifle Range Hotelin Williamstown, and Yarraville’s Victoria On Hyde Hotel to feed drugand gambling habits.

They wore disguises and abused andthreatened staff at gunpoint.

Last year they pleaded guilty to fivearmed robberies, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit anarmed robbery.

In sentencing, County Court JudgePhillip Coish rejected Sarvak’s claim that she was forced to takepart by her violent husband. He sentenced her to three more yearsbehind bars than her husband.

At the Court of Appeal yesterdayJustice Robert Redlich overturned the original sentence, saying itwas “unjustifiably disproportionate and so infringed theprinciple of parity”.

“Where all other things are equal,persons concerned in the same crime should receive the samepunishment,” he said.

He sentenced Sarvak to eight years andsix months’ jail with a 5 1/2-year non-parole period.





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