A Cringila man who sold drugs in a bid to fund his kidney transplant has failed on appeal to have his prison sentence reduced.
Jimmy Ristovski was on a transplant waiting list and undergoing daily dialysis for a serious kidney disease when police raided his home on September 5, 2014, seizing $11,000 worth of heroin and ice and $80,000 in cash.
Ristovski, a 45-year-old pensioner and father-of-two, claimed the cash was a combination of savings, gambling wins and community donations to fund a trip to Croatia, where he was to receive a kidney transplant. But his family was only able to provide receipts and statements accounting for $39,000. The remainder was confiscated under proceeds of crime laws.
In May Ristovski was sent to jail for a year, and ordered to spend another 16 months on parole.
He went on to challenge the sentence on four grounds, including that sentencing judge Andrew Haesler had erred in treating his criminal record as an aggravating factor, and that the sentence was excessive in light of his personal circumstances.
Judge Haesler accepted Ristovski had turned to drug supply in order to help pay for his operation, but found this did not excuse his offending.
The judge noted he suffered a psychological condition that made him prone to “taking short cuts” and that his ill health would make his time in prison more onerous than usual.
In a decision published November 30, Supreme Court justices dismissed the appeal, finding all four grounds not made out.
They found the sentencing judge had rightly weighed up Ristovski’s criminal history – clean of drug supply offences for the previous 20 years - as a measure of his moral culpability, having reasoned he was well aware of the consequences of being apprehended as a result of his past experience.
The justices found Ristovski had already received a “generous adjustment for special circumstances” , in the form of a much-reduced non-parole period.