24 May 2024

Cluney’s jail time extended after being sentenced for choking offence against another woman

| Oliver Jacques
Dean Cluney

Dean Cluney appeared in Griffith court via video conference from custody. Photo: Facebook.

A man jailed for breaking into a house and intimidating a woman who subsequently died in a car crash in Yanco has had his prison time extended by three months after being sentenced for a separate offence in Griffith Local Court on Thursday (23 May).

In a high-profile case, Dean Cluney, 33, had previously been handed a two-year and 10-month prison sentence for offences committed against Tania Murphy, 36, and another woman on 5 April 2023.

Soon after these offences, Ms Murphy fled her home and was killed in a car crash alongside her two sons and nephew when her vehicle hit a pole and rolled into a water channel.

READ MORE Cluney and Gardner sentenced for offences before fatal car crash in Yanco

On Thursday, Mr Cluney faced Griffith Court via video conference from custody after pleading guilty to intentionally choking without consent and intimidating a different woman in a separate offence that occurred a month before the crash – in the early hours of 9 March 2023.

For these two offences, he was convicted and sentenced to a total of 18 months prison with a non-parole period of nine months.

However, some of this sentence will be served concurrently [at the same time] as his previous sentence relating to Ms Murphy, so his jail time will not be extended by the full nine months.

Previously, he was eligible to be released on parole by 4 September 2024, but the new sentence means he will have to remain in jail until at least 4 January 2025.

According to the agreed facts of the case, the offences occurred after an argument in a Yanco residence with the woman, whom Mr Cluney told to “stay away from my missus”.

The court was told he grabbed her by the hair, shoved her and placed his arms around her throat. Mr Cluney then took out a knife and threatened her.

Magistrate Khan accepted that the offending was spontaneous and in the heat of the moment rather than planned but said this would have little impact on his judgement.

“Too much violence against women is in the heat of the moment,” he said.

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The magistrate did consider Mr Cluney’s history of deprivation and abuse and neglect as a child, saying the sentence would otherwise have been much longer. He also took into account the defendant’s good behaviour in prison up until now and drug and alcohol treatment.

Magistrate Khan also imposed a two-year Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) on Mr Cluney, which will prevent him from having any contact with his female victim during that time.

“If you see her on the street, walk the other way … if you find out she works at McDonalds, you need to go to KFC,” Magistrate Khan said.

Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.

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