A FORMER prison worker who was jailed on charges of bribery and misconduct has had his sentence reduced on appeal.
In June, 2019, Lyndon Turvey was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court to 15 months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven months.
The County Court heard an appeal on Thursday.
Judge Irene Lawson set aside his original sentence, instead handing down a 13-month prison sentence with a non-parole period of five months.
"The conduct was a serious breach of public duties," Judge Lawson said. "The crime of bribery strikes at the very heart of the justice system."
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The court heard Turvey was working as an Aboriginal welfare officer at Loddon Prison in Castlemaine when he took 28 payments from the family members and partners of four inmates in 2016 and 2017.
The money was used to buy contraband, including cigarettes, tobacco, papers, and lighters.
Judge Lawson said she took into consideration Turvey's early guilty plea, which she said demonstrated his genuine remorse.
She also noted the delay between the offending in 2016 and 2017, and his eventual sentencing in June, 2019.
Judge Lawson said Turvey's time in custody would have been more onerous given his previous prison role, his diagnosed anxiety and depression, and the COVID-19 restrictions.
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Judge Lawson said Turvey was noted as being a person of good character with no prior convictions.
She said that assessment would carry less weight in sentencing than it would normally given the type of offending.
But Judge Lawson said she was satisfied Turvey was a person who otherwise showed good prospects of rehabilitation.
Judge Lawson set aside the orders made by Magistrate Michael King in June, 2019.
Turvey was then convicted and sentenced to 13 months in jail with a non-parole period of five months.
Judge Lawson said if Turvey had not pleaded guilty, he would have received an 18-month prison sentence.
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