Finally the case is closed on one of the final hit-men from the Melbourne Gangland wars. After getting a retrial he has been sentenced again although for a shorter time. Both he and fat Tony Mokbel ( For other offences) attempted to get their earlier pleas changed to not guilty over the swearing of Affidavits debacle by the VIC POLICE.
Thankfully that stuff up has been rectified and they got nowhere through retrospective legislation.We could of had thousands of cases having to be reheard and charges dropped etc.
Justice Lex Lasry told Sean Sonnet that despite his 45 prior convictions and long history of violence he was not “beyond redemption” and he said authorities should consider him for parole when his minimum term expires.
Justice Lasry said the “hit” arose out of a relationship Sonnet had with drug lord and underworld figure Carl Williams, Gregg Hildebrand and another man, Michael Thorneycroft.
The four men plotted to kill their target and Sonnet was to be the shooter.
The judge said Sonnet was arrested on June 9, 2004 outside the Brighton cemetery near Condello’s home by Special Operations Group officers and they found a 9mm Luger Beretta down the front of his pants and a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver in a bum bag. Both were full loaded and ready to go.
”The plan in which you were involved and in which you were to be the person who would kill the target of the agreement, was a callous and planned conspiracy,” Justice Lasry said in his Supreme Court sentence.
“You were on the verge of putting the plan into effect by shooting a person you thought was the target.”
Sonnet, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder after he won a retrial and after denying for years that he intended to kill anyone.
He has a history of violence in jail against fellow inmates and warders.
Justice Lasry said that because of the death of a witness the Crown had agreed that the “hit” was on an unknown person although it was accepted at his first trial that the target was Condello.
“In many respects that matters little because what is important is that this was an agreement to kill another human being,” Justice Lasry said.
When he was sentenced after his first conspiracy trial, Justice Betty King described Sonnet as a “gun for hire” who was recruited by Williams during the gangland war to cold-bloodedly murder Condello for payment of between $120,000 and $145,000.
Justice Lasry said Sonnet embarked on a life of crime while he was still a teenager and had spent a substantial period of the past 20 years in jail.
The judge said the effect of his sentence was that because of time already served Sonnet will have just under three years before he is eligible for parole.
Justice Lasry set a maximum term of 10-and-a-half years.