Laitlang Express Australian News Former Penrith Panther Levi Russell jailed over drug haul, choose considers influence of mind harm on sentencing

Former Penrith Panther Levi Russell jailed over drug haul, choose considers influence of mind harm on sentencing


Cooperating witnesses would testify they’d obtain as many as 58 consignments as a part of the enterprise

Different shipments have been secreted in a heavy responsibility hydraulic cylinder in October 2017 that contained 70kg of methamphetamine. Hydraulic cylinders are usually used within the building of bridges and never an merchandise utilized by Russtrans.

Days after the cylinder arrived and was detected by authorities, Russell would journey to Singapore. A witness would declare Russell advised him the cargo contained medicine and that he travelled abroad in order that he may deny information of that.

The police case detailed how members of the operation used encrypted messaging apps and gadgets starting from BlackBerrys to Ciphr and WhatsApp as a part of the importing and provide operations. Witnesses wore wire faucets throughout provide operations, the courtroom heard.

Drug handovers can be performed in open places equivalent to on the Tuggerah exit of the M1 motorway.

The courtroom heard that Russell’s household would query his buy of a $300,000 Mercedes Benz car.

Choose Scotting discovered {that a} custodial sentence was warranted given premeditation and planning, that he had precise information of the medicine concerned and quantities, that he had contact with others abroad with the capability to supply medicine, and that the offences weren’t remoted.

The choose thought-about the knowledgeable analysis of neuropsychologist, Dr Susan Pulman, who reviewed Russell’s medical historical past, together with mind scans. Russell, who had displayed signs together with reminiscence loss, aggression and seizures, had additionally suffered head accidents off the taking part in subject together with exterior a pub in a 2018 assault.

Dr Pulman advised the courtroom “that primarily based on his historical past of documented head accidents and the subconcussive impacts incurred as an expert athlete, the irregular outcomes of the neuropsychological testing and the neuroimaging which demonstrated a decreased cerebral blood circulate per CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy], that the offender was affected by the neuropsychological sequelae of repetitive mind trauma, and that situation was longstanding and was current on the time of the offending conduct.”

In sentencing, Choose Scotting mentioned he accepted that Russell “is affected by the neuropsychological sequelae of repetitive mind trauma”.

“I’m glad that his situation will make his time in custody extra onerous. The therapy that’s presently out there for the offender’s situation is specialised and extra available in the neighborhood.

“I’m glad that it’s doubtless that his situation will deteriorate within the subsequent ten years and {that a} extended interval of incarceration is prone to speed up his decline.


“I observe that it’s doable that he has already developed CTE, however the current state of medical science doesn’t permit a definitive prognosis to be made.

“I’m glad that there’s a important threat that he’ll develop dementia or one other neurodegenerative illness. If he does develop dementia or a neurodegenerative illness, his continued incarceration would be the antithesis of the nurturing and supportive atmosphere that an individual within the early phases of a such a illness wants.

“Additional, therapy for a neurodegenerative illness is very specialised and can be extra available in the neighborhood.

“I’m glad that if the offender develops dementia that his life expectancy can be considerably shortened and that if he develops dementia while in custody, his continued incarceration will speed up the progress of the illness.”

Conspiracy to import a industrial amount of a border management drug will be punished by life imprisonment. Russell pleaded responsible and was entitled to a reduction on sentencing.

Choose Scotting sentenced Russell to a 16-year headline time period with non parole of 9 years. With time served on remand, he will likely be eligible for parole in 2028.

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