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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Gangland hitman Sean Sonnet told by judge he still has time to go straight after 45 convictions

08:11 |


VIOLENT criminal who was overpowered by police as he was on his way to murder underworld figure Mario Condello was told yesterday it was still not too late to give up crime. Justice Lex Lasry told Sean Sonnet that despite his 45 prior convictions and long history of violence he was not "beyond redemption" and that authorities should consider Sonnet for parole when his minimum term expires. "It is not too late for you if you choose to make a life for yourself," Justice Lasry told Sonnet, who was jailed for 7 1/2 years. He will be eligible for parole in just under three years because of time already served. Justice Lasry said the "hit" arose out of a relationship Sonnet had with drug lord and underworld figure Carl Williams and two other criminals. 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. Police found a 9mm Luger Baretta down the front of Sonnet's pants and a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver in a bumbag. Both were fully loaded and ready to go. Listen to Lex Lasry hand down Sonnett's sentence "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 during 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. 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 set a maximum term of 10 1/2 years.

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