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Australia: Serial abalone poacher jailed


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Posted by on August 09, 2005 at 00:52:36:

A NOTORIOUS abalone thief has been jailed after losing a court bid to quash his sentence for selling the endangered shellfish to an undercover officer.

Serial poacher David Strachan, 53, was locked up yesterday for at least 10 months for breaching a court order and consigning for sale almost $100,000 worth of abalone.

Strachan, who has 100 convictions for abalone-related offences, last week appealed against the sentence, claiming he had changed his ways.

His lawyer Phil Dunn, QC, said Strachan had established a successful boat-building business and was now a responsible family man after the recent birth of twin girls.

"He has been a serious pirate of the sea, but the pirate has hung up his flag," Mr Dunn said.

But County Court Judge Margaret Rizkalla yesterday rejected the appeal and reimposed the sentence given to Strachan in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court last year.

He was jailed for a maximum of 18 months, with a non-parole period of 10, fined $24,080, and ordered to pay $27,380 costs.

Describing as appalling his history of offending, Judge Rizkalla said the court had no choice but to jail Strachan.


Court unsympathetic to repeat abalone poacher

A notorious Melbourne abalone poacher has lost his appeal against a jail sentence.

David Campbell Strachan, 54, of Brighton has been sentenced to 18 months jail with a 10 month non-parole period for poaching and selling abalone.

The County Court heard Strachan had a 35 year history of convictions for poaching abalone from Victorian and Tasmanian waters.

His lawyer told the court Strachan was a changed man since the birth of his twins and was unlikely to offend again.

But the court ruled jail was the only appropriate sentence given his appalling history.

Fisheries officer applauds poacher jailing

Gippsland fisheries officers have welcomed a County Court decision to reject an appeal by one of Victoria's most notorious abalone poachers.

David Campbell Strachan, 54, formerly of Lakes Entrance, has lost his appeal against his 18 month jail term for poaching and selling abalone.

Strachan has racked up 100 convictions and fines of $1 million during his 35 year history of abalone poaching.

Gippsland fisheries officer Peter Courtney says the court's decision to reinforce the jail sentence should serve as a warning.

"The calibre of abalone thieves that one would liken Strachan to, there are others that operate within the Gippsland region," he said.

"However, we're continually working and monitoring these types of people and in recent times have come up with some significant outcomes."


Abalone poacher owes $600,000 in fines

Convicted abalone poacher David Campbell Strachan still owes more than $600,000 in fines from offences in Tasmanian waters.

In Melbourne yesterday the 54-year-old lost his appeal against an 18-month jail sentence with a 10-month non-parole period for poaching and selling abalone.

His lawyer argued Strachan was a changed man since the birth of his twins and was unlikely to offend again.

But the court ruled jail was the only appropriate sentence given his appalling 35-year history of convictions for poaching offences.

The Tasmanian Department of Justice has confirmed Strachan still has more than $600,000 in outstanding fines and penalties from offences in the State.




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