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Tom Elliott accuses Victoria’s judicial system of ignoring the ‘will of the people and parliament’

Tom Elliott has launched a scathing attack on Victoria’s judicial system, saying it has overridden the “will of the people” on the issue of bashing emergency service workers.

It comes after a man who assaulted three paramedics, two police officers, a PSO, a bus driver and a shop attendant escaped jail time.

Aroub Arop pleaded guilty to 44 charges for offences carried out between 2017 and 2020, including the assaults, and was handed an 18 month community corrections order.

The 21-year-old, who was intoxicated at the time of the assaults, told the court he was “fair dinkum” about giving up alcohol.

“It is unbelievable,” a frustrated Tom Elliott said on Friday.

“This is a case of the judiciary, in this case a magistrate, actively seeking to undermine the will of the state parliament.

“The parliament had listened to the community, who said it found it unacceptable for people that are affected by drugs and alcohol to bash paramedics who are trying to save their lives.

“We want people like that put in jail and, ideally, put in jail for quite a long time.

“In this case, a bloke who has been charged many, many times and been found guilty several times, says ‘I’ve got a drinking problem’ and therefore I deserve to walk free.

“You and I would look at him and laugh and say bad luck, mate, you’re going to jail and probably for a couple of years to think about your actions.

“But a magistrate, and magistrates wield a lot of power in our community, has overridden the will of the people, overridden the will of parliament and and let this man walk free.”

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Tom Elliott’s editorial prompted the shadow attorney general, Ed O’Donohue, to call in.

He said it was government’s fault for misleading the public about “mandatory” sentencing.

“The issue here with this decision is that the Premier, Daniel Andrews, gave a false impression about the facts,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“He said very clearly that anybody who assaults an emergency services worker would go to jail – that was plainly never the case.”

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The head of the ambulance union, Danny Hill, said it gave the “green light” to would-be offenders who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“That’s almost every patient on a Friday or Saturday night,” he said.

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