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Judge critical of Aboriginal treatment

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 28th, 2002.

A Victorian judge who sentenced an indigenous man for an assault has been critical of society's treatment of aboriginal people in his verdict.

Justice Bernard Bongiorno sentenced 47-year-old Robert John Wordie to up to nine years and three months in jail for stabbing his girlfriend two years ago.

The son of a Scottish father and Aboriginal mother, Wordie pleaded guilty to three charges, including intentionally causing serious injury.

In sentencing, Justice Bernard Bongiorno told the court Wordie's life was one of extreme sadness, plagued by alcohol.

He said indigenous people in Australia have been subjected to unjust and immoral social alienation for far too long.

Justice Bongiorno said until these issues were seriously addressed, there would be many more offenders facing lengthy jail terms.



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