Up to $195m NSW taxpayer money funds appeals of criminals

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Legal Aid New South Wales is spending a staggering amount to fund the appeals of criminals who want to get out of jail sooner.
 
Up to $195 million is spent by the organisation which provides “legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people across NSW” for the appeals of criminals including mass-murderers, paedophiles and gangsters, a report from The Daily Telegraph reveals.
 
Among those funded by Legal Aid is Roger Dean who set alight a Sydney nursing home in 2011, killing 11 elderly residents all because he found out the police were looking into his stealing 200 prescription pills from the Quakers Hill Nursing Home.
 
Pleading guilty in 2013 to 11 counts of murder and eight counts of grievous bodily harm, the former nurse is estimated to use $12,000 in taxpayers’ money to fund a second appeal to reduce his sentence.
 
The appeal is due to be heard by the High Court on 16 November.
 
The Daily Telegraph also says that Vincent Stanford who’s serving a life sentence has lodged his intent to appeal his sentence for killing NSW schoolteacher Stephanie Scott.
 
The murderer’s appeal will also be covered by legal aid.
 
Furthermore, Underbelly kingpin Anthony Perish, put behind bars in 2012 for murdering and mutilating drug dealer Terry Falconer, got money from legal aid for the appeal of his 24-year sentence.
 
Another appeal funded by taxpayers’ money was for paedophile Richard Wright who repeatedly sexually abused a child since she was only 12-years-old.
 
One of the daughters of the victims of the Quakers Hill fire told the publication that the “broken system…supports the criminal instead of the victims.”
 
“During the inquest we the victims were given no rights and support...It breaks my heart that this evil man is being given more money. It’s not just this case, but the whole system of funding,” said Sue Webeck.
 

Related stories:
Legal assistance funds can be augmented by alcohol and gambling, says ABA
Solicitor trio accused of fleecing £600K from UK Legal Aid
 

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