City Hub: Judge overturns tough sentences for climate activists

Deanna “Violet” Coco was sentenced to 15 months in prison with a non-parole period of eight months and fined $2500 by Magistrate Alison Hawkins in December 2022. Today, District Court Judge Mark Williams overturned the fine and placed her on a 12 months conditional release order with psychological counselling for the Sydney Harbour offence. For two other minor offences, Coco was convicted but no other penalty was imposed, City Hub's Wendy Bacon reports.

In response to the overturning of Coco's sentence, NSWCCL President Josh Pallas said, "A custodial sentence was neither proportionate nor fair, indeed the cost to tax-payer and waste of court time is outrageous. Justice has been done today, but at too great a cost.”

“It has subsequently been revealed that Violet and Jay were sentenced on the basis of a false assertion. This is a shocking case of the police misstating the facts which were consequential in the sentences of both Violet and Jay. The police have offered no justification for this misstatement of facts. They must be held accountable and at the very least, explain how they got this so wrong.”

“Activism changes history and the right to stand together and peacefully protest must be protected and defended for every citizen – not pared back. The current anti-protest laws fly in the face of what civil society, trade unions and religious groups all fight for. We must protect the right to freedom of speech and peacefully assembly across NSW.”

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