Drug mule wins shorter jail term
A DRUGS mule, described in court as a "lovely person", has had her eight-year sentence for smuggling cannabis worth €237,000 reduced by three years on appeal.
The Court of Criminal Appeal determined there had been an error in principle in the jail term imposed on South African Alice Van Staden (45) by Judge Donagh McDonagh at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in December 2010.
The Cape Town resident had pleaded guilty to the importation of drugs and the possession of a suitcase packed with herbal cannabis to the value of €237,000.
The appeal court found there had been a mismatch in the approach taken by the sentencing judge at an initial hearing of the case in December 2008 and the eventual sentence hearing two years later.
Ice cream boy in aid appeal
A 17-YEAR-old boy charged with stealing a €5.95 block of ice cream has brought a legal challenge against a District Court judge's refusal to grant him legal aid.
District Judge Murrough Connellan refused to grant the teen his legal costs which could run to ¤1,000.
An appeal at the High Court said the boy may now not have legal representation. Mr Justice Michael Peart granted leave to bring the challenge and put a stay on the criminal case against him pending determination of the High Court action.
Oz parties split over migrants
Negotiations have broken down between the government and Australia's main opposition party on a compromise policy to deport asylum seekers.
The parties are arguing over sending asylum seekers to another country within the Asia-Pacific region to curb the increasing number heading from Indonesia and Malaysia by boat.
TV is behind the times -- Lee
Spike Lee hit out at TV and film bosses over equal rights at the Sundance Film Festival.
Lee said that in the "upper echelons of television and studios, it's 1950. It's Eisenhower".
He said there is much work to be done before the film industry reflects the diversity of the US.