Man jailed for neck stabbing given more time to appeal

A BLACKALL man who walked into a bar with an 18cm knife and stabbed his ex-wife's friend six times in the neck has been granted additional time to appeal his sentence.

Douglas Paul Piper, 59, was initially charged with attempted murder stemming from the incident on September 29, 2013 at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Blackall.

But on the morning that his trial was due to start in the Rockhampton Supreme Court last year he pleaded guilty to a lesser offence and was subsequently sentenced to seven years behind bars.

Piper had his parole fixed at October 1, 2016.

The sentencing judge said the attack was cowardly, unprovoked, premeditated and without reason.

Piper filed papers in the Queensland Court of Appeal last year indicting his intention to appeal the sentence but later withdrew the application.

However, Piper filed a new application this year in the same court, requesting an extension of time to appeal his sentence on the basis he was unrepresented at the time of filing the initial appeal.

He told the court during a hearing in June the sentence he received was manifestly excessive given he had no criminal history, was a first-time offender and had pleaded guilty.

Justice David Boddice, in granting the extension to appeal, said he believed Piper honestly thought that withdrawing the application would mean the matter would simply be adjourned until he secured legal representation.

He said proposed appeal grounds had merit especially surrounding his early guilty plea.

"The fixing of a parole eligibility date at a point considerably higher than the one-third mark, and closer to the usual half-way mark, did not reflect the significance of that plea," he said.

"Particularly in the context of an offender with no prior criminal history and an otherwise exemplary background."

The court ordered Piper be allowed to appeal his sentence but also ordered his parole release date be changed from October 1 to February 1, 2016.


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