Roma Britnell demands change to parole laws

Injured 17-year-old player Sam Lambevski.
Injured 17-year-old player Sam Lambevski.

A SOUTH-WEST parliamentarian has called for a player charged with assault during a football game to have his parole revoked.

​Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said parole was a privilege not a right and Will Pickett had shown he was not worthy of that privilege.

Heathmere’s Mr Pickett, 28, was charged last Friday charged by police with recklessly causing serious injury, recklessly causing injury and breaching parole. 

He was bailed to appear at Portland Magistrates Court on 16 October. 

Mr Pickett, who was on parole for armed robbery and assault, collected 17-year-old Branxholme-Wallacedale’s Sam Lambevski during a game on July 28 and left him with a jaw broken in two places and concussion.

Mr Pickett was given a three-match ban by the South West District Football League independent tribunal for the off-the-ball incident.

Police then investigated and late Friday charged Mr Pickett.

Mrs Britnell said community expectations were different to those of members of the parole board.

"I think the community expects if someone commits a serious offence while on parole, they will go back to jail, but not in (Premier) Daniel Andrews’ Victoria," she said.

"It’s baffling to think this young man is back in the community on bail after being charged with a violent assault while on parole after serving prison time for a series of violent crimes. 

"He’s proven he hasn’t been rehabilitated."

Mrs Britnell questioned why Mr Pickett was allowed to be bailed under the current law.

"If elected, the Liberal Nationals will change that law and anyone who is charged with serious offences while already on parole, will go back to jail," she said.

"We need to get tougher when it comes to law and order. 

"The current Labor Government’s weak approach hasn’t worked and the community expects stricter and harsher punishment for offenders who continue to commit serious crimes like this," she said.