Jackie Hay withdraws appeal handed for charge relating to grooming a teenage boy

Jackie Hays (Facebook).
Jackie Hays (Facebook).


APPEARING at Newcastle District Court last week, Ms Jackie Hays was seeking to appeal the sentence handed down in August, 2018 relating to grooming a teenage boy for sex.

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Originally caught as a result of Strike Force Minnamorra established in June 2017 to investigate the allegations, Ms Hays was found guilty of charges.

She received a 12-month suspended jail term sentence after pleading guilty to grooming the boy, 15.

Ms Hays, in her early 50s, was back in court this week to appeal the judgement.

In the original case, her legal team had claimed Ms Hays suffered from a borderline personality disorder.

Ms Hays herself had laid claim that a weight-loss drug she had taken had partially led to her crime.

The presiding Magistrate had rejected Ms Hays’ application to have her case dealt with under the Mental Health Act.

It is on this basis she had intended to appeal the sentence.

However, in an intense about-turn, Ms Hays dropped her appeal.

Newcastle District Court Judge Julia Baly warned Ms Hays that if she continued with her planned appeal it was possible the suspended jail-term sentence could in fact increase.

The initial case, if it had been dealt with at the District Court, had a potential sentence of up to ten years jail for Ms Hays’ crime.

Judge Baly reportedly said, “I have read the material, I have read the Crown’s bundle and I have read the victim impact statement from the young victim and your letter to the court.”

“I am going to give you a warning because this is very serious offending and there are two very significant aggravating factors that make it even worse.”

“It was egregious and a gross abuse of trust as a teacher [aide], and secondly the harm done to this young man was substantial.”

“The warning I am giving you is this; if you proceed with your appeal I may well increase your sentence because in my view the penalty handed down was light, given the nature of what you did.”

“You were lucky to get what you did, which was a suspended sentence for 12 months.”

“If you were to proceed with your appeal, from what I know so far I may increase your sentence.”

“I am giving you the opportunity to withdraw from your appeal.”

From here, Ms Hays withdrew her appeal.

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