A petition to have the sentencing of, Joel Brooks, one of the brothers involved in a double stabbing that resulted in the death of Greg Gibbons outside a Toukley pizza shop in 2015 reviewed has gained over 4,000 signatures since its launch.
Greg Gibbons was fatally stabbed in the heart by Brooks’ brother, Bradley, after he and a friend, Adam Swindell, got into an altercation with the Brooks brothers.
During the altercation, Joel Brooks, stabbed Swindell in the bicep.
Joel was convicted of the reckless wounding of Adam Swindell, on February 7, and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service whilst placed under a two year Intensive Corrections Order (ICO), with no jail time.
Following the sentencing, a group of family members and friends of Gibbons, calling themselves the Justice for Gibbo Group, launched the petition on February 9.
As of February 14, it had over 4,200 signatures of its 5,000 signature goal.
The petition, which was launched by group member, Tracy Ann, insists that Joel Brooks’ sentencing was too lenient given the circumstances, timeframe and community risk surrounding his case, and is calling on NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW, and a host of other politicians and NSW government justice organisations to review the matter.
“The community demands a review of this decision.
“The facts of this matter are as follows,” the petition states.
“The offender was initially charged with a more serious offence but waited until the very last opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser offence after sentencing laws were amended.
“His sentence was reduced as a result.
“The offender has been on bail walking the streets since being charged in early 2015 until recently.
“In January, 2019, the offender was arrested on a domestic violence charge and is still in custody until March 22, when the matter returns to court, a clear breach of his bail.
“This was not Joel Brooks’ first appearance at Court since 2015.
“The maximum sentencing option on the lesser charge of reckless wounding is seven years.
“The offender received two years.
“The higher possible charges carried a maximum sentencing option of 14 years.
“Whilst being sentenced to two years, the offender was not given a term of imprisonment.
“He was given a two year ICO.
“A sentence of more than two years removes the option of an ICO.
“The ICO includes community service.
“The maximum option was 750 hours.
“The offender received 200 hours, which averages at eight hours per month.
“Prior to the reforms, he would have had to undertake a minimum of 32 hours of community service work per month.
“An ICO can include more than one condition including home detention, electronic monitoring, a curfew, community service work requiring the performance of community service work for a specified number of hours, a rehabilitation or treatment condition requiring the offender to participate in a rehabilitation program or to receive treatment, abstention from alcohol or drugs or both, a non-association condition prohibiting association with particular persons, a place restriction condition prohibiting the frequenting of or visits to a particular place or area.
“Why were more conditions not imposed on this offender”, the petition states.
Through the petition, Ann also argued that an ICO was inappropriate given the circumstances of Joel Brooks crime.
“Under the previous ICO scheme, the courts recognised that while an ICO has the capacity to operate as substantial punishment, it also could reflect a significant degree of leniency because it did not involve immediate incarceration.
“The reforms were meant to address this by making the leniency (or severity) of an ICO dependant on the strength of particular conditions imposed on the order.
“We hardly call 200 hours a particularly strong condition.
“Under the reforms the court must decide whether an ICO or serving the sentence by way of full-time detention is more likely to address the offender’s risk of re-offending,” the petition states.
Website, Feb 14
Tracy Ann, Justice for Gibbo Group