Former Judge Einfeld gets at least 2 years in prison

March 20, 2009 in Social/Political Commentary by pacejmiller

It all ends in tears.  Einfeld gets 3 years (2 years non-parole)

A $77 fine ends in tears. Einfeld gets 3 years (2 years non-parole)

Just a follow-up from my post on 26 February about the spectacular fall from grace of former Federal Court of Australia judge Marcus Einfeld.  Today, Justice James of the New South Wales Supreme Court sentenced the 70 year-old Einfeld to 3 years jail with a 2-year non-parole period for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

In my previous post, I weighed up the for-and-against in sending a former judge (with a long history of decorated public service and contributions to society) to prison for making up an elaborate lie to prevent incurring a measly $77 traffic fine and a few demerit points (which would have left him with one point).  One lie led to another until it got totally out of hand and things unravelled quickly when journalists discovered the truth.  I never came to a final conclusion about whether Einfeld should be given a custodial sentence.  However, I think the actual outcome today was fair.  Certainly, there can be no complaints.

In handing down the sentence, Justice James regarded Einfeld’s conduct as “planned criminal activity” and said that the offence struck “at the heart of the administration of justice”.  In paricular: “Any lawyer, and especially a lawyer who has been a barrister and a judge, who commits such an offence is to be sentenced on the basis that he would have been fully aware of the gravity of his conduct”.

Upon hearing the sentence, Einfeld covered his face with his hands and his family and supporters broke into tears. 

Einfeld’s final words before being escorted from the dock: “Oh, the bag is packed.”