- Keegan Thomson
Local family appeals for justice
BOBBY THE BRAVE’s family, will head back to court to appeal the sentence given to Bobby’s attacker Andrew Nolan.
In December, Andrew Nolan was handed a gaol sentence of 12 years and six-months with a non-parole period of eight-years and six- months with time already served, meaning Mr Nolan will be eligible for parole in six-years.
The Webber family announced they’d be appealing the sentence in a post to their supporters on the Bobby the Brave facebook. They thanked the community for its support.
“Hopefully this time we get justice for Bobby and make it known that our amazing community will not tolerate this happening anymore,” the post said.
On the day of the sentencing the Webber family said they were disappointed with the “light sentence” and said they’d be looking into the appeals process.
Nicole Galea, Bobby’s godmother, said as soon as the sentence was handed their legal team knew they’d be fighting it.
“As soon as we came out of the sentencing our legal team came up to the family and said they were going to appeal the sentence,” Ms Galea said.
“They knew right from the time the sentence was handed down that there were grounds to appeal,” she said.
In 2014 Andrew Nolan, then 30 years old, attacked seven-month-old Bobby Webber when he was in charge of babysitting him.
The assault left Bobby with debilitating, life threatening and life long injuries and brain damage. Ms Galea says from the get-go the family always wanted to push for the maximum sentencing due to the catastrophic results of the attack.
“We’re going to be fighting for the maximum sentence of 25 years which is what grievous bodily harm can carry,” she said. “Andrew Nolan is a dangerous person,” Ms Galea said.
“He was not on drugs, he had no prior mental health issue and for him to do something like this shows he is a very dangerous person and it is scary to think that in six and a half years he could be walking around with other children.”
Even with the appeal process offering some hope to the Webber family, the longevity of the ongoing case is taking it’s toll on the family, particularly on Elise Webber, Bobby’s mother.
“They’re happy to be appealing but it is still dragging the ordeal on for the whole family,” Ms Galea said. “Elise was exhausted at the end of the case but this is only dragging it out for her.”
“It is hard for the family, but the Crown Prosecutor wouldn’t be appealing if there wasn’t a substantial chance of an increased sentence, so everyone is quietly confident.”
No matter what the outcome is for the appeal, it is clear the Webber family wants to keep fighting so people like Andrew Nolan aren’t let out with light sentences.
“There needs to be tougher parole conditions for people like him [Andrew Nolan] and we need tougher punishments for people who bash and assault children,” Ms Galea said.
To help with the parole process the family has set up a change.org petition. They aimed to have 5,000 signatures but reached that goal within 24-hours of it being set up.