WORLD middleweight boxing champion Anthony Mundine has effectively halved the jail term of a 47-year-old South Grafton man in an appeal court hearing in Grafton yesterday.
Thirty-four-year-old Mundine arrived in Grafton yesterday to give evidence in the appeal hearing of Albert Robinson, who was appealing against a two-year jail term for a combination of breaching a community service order, larceny, reckless driving and driving while disqualified.
The court heard that Robinson had been convicted more than 20 times for driving while disqualified and cannot hold a driving licence until June 22, 2048.
Mr Mundine was the main defence witness and offered to take Robinson into his home once he served his jail term.
This offer was central to the appeal to 'tinker' with Robinson's non-parole period allowing him to leave jail in February next year instead of February 2011.
In the witness box Mr Mundine described how Robinson had unresolved grief problems stemming from the death of his son in 1990.
He said the appellant was a vital part of his training camps when he was preparing for a fight and told the court how alcohol and drugs were abhorrent to him and banned from his training camps.
He has known Robinson since childhood and he had become close to him since he became part of 'the team' about three years ago.
The prosecution questioned Mr Mundine's ability to have a good influence on Robinson, noting that he had been in trouble with the law while part of the Mundine team.
“Some of our people (Aborigines) are weak (when it comes to alcohol) and Albert needs to work on that,” Mr Mundine said.
Acting Judge Madgewick upheld the appeal, changing the 18-month none-parole period of the sentence to nine months.
Outside the court Mr Mundine said it was going to be difficult to replace Robinson, known as 'Freddo'.
“It's difficult to replace someone with his character,” he said.
“He gets on with everyone and is great to have around the place.”
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