Paraplegic criminal gets reduced jail sentence

A paraplegic man has been given a reduced jail sentence by a Supreme Court judge because of the extra difficulties faced by disabled people in prison.

Dean Justin Hinton pleaded guilty on Friday to eight charges including one count of possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine) exceeding two grams and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Defence lawyer Bill Potts asked for leniency because Hinton would be disadvantaged in prison as he could not get around as easily as other prisoners or join in with most activities.

“My respectful submission is that prison life would be harder for him than most prisoners,” Mr Potts said.

Justice John Byrne agreed prison would be more difficult for Hinton because of injuries from a motorbike accident in October 2007.

“Your paraplegic condition would make it more demanding than usual,” he said.

“This is an example that would allow special leniency.”

The court was told Hinton had an extensive criminal history, including a suspended sentence for previous drug and firearm offences.

He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

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