Crown loses appeal to increase sentence for bowling club shooting

VICTIM: Dick McGuigan was shot as a club was robbed. THE thug who directed a gunman to ‘‘put one in’’ Water Board Bowling Club patron Dick McGuigan will serve his 16-year jail term after the Court of Criminal Appeal declined to increase it.
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The Crown appealed Ryker Scott Jennar’s sentence, which included a 12-year non-parole period, as being ‘‘manifestly inadequate’’ for one count of attempted murder and four counts of armed robbery.

The court ruled that while the sentence might be described as lenient, it was not manifestly inadequate.

Jennar was part of a small team that robbed the Carrington Post Office on June 11, 2010, the Criterion Hotel at Carrington on May 22, 2011, and the New Lambton branch of the Newcastle Permanent Building Society on July 15, 2011.

However, it was on June 19, 2011, that Jennar and Joel Douglas Barton entered the Water Board Bowling Club while a number of patrons were still inside.

With their faces covered and Barton brandishing an assault rifle, they took money from a safe before Mr McGuigan approached Jennar and said ‘‘I know you, I recognise you. What the bloody hell are you doing this shit for? Wake up to your bloody self’’.

‘‘F… off, idiot,’’ Jennar replied.

Mr McGuigan followed Jennar and Barton as they left the club before Jennar said to Barton: ‘‘Put one in him’’.

Barton shot Mr McGuigan in the stomach from about four metres away.

Mr McGuigan survived, but required multiple operations and treatment for many months.

The three judges who sat on the Court of Criminal Appeal watched the CCTV footage of the robbery because the Crown wanted them to properly appreciate the seriousness of the incident.

Justice Robert Hulme ruled, however, ‘‘I did not glean anything from it about the seriousness or any other aspect of the offence that was not otherwise apparent from the description provided in the statement of agreed facts and the judge’s sentencing remarks.

‘‘Those offences, including the shooting of Mr McGuigan, were clearly offences of very substantial seriousness.’’

Despite the Crown’s attempts, the court dismissed the appeal with Justice Hulme remarking, ‘‘A sentence of 16 years is a stern measure of criminal punishment, but such a measure was called for in all the circumstances.

‘‘I am not persuaded that it can be said to be manifestly inadequate.’’

The Crown also intends to appeal Barton’s sentence, which was the same.

Barton also intends to appeal his convictions for the robberies and attempted murder.

Both men are eligible for parole in 2023.

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