He broke into a car to get some coins to call his mum. Now, Jonathan Paul Finch has won an appeal after arguing his sentence was excessive.
He broke into a car to get some coins to call his mum. Now, Jonathan Paul Finch has won an appeal after arguing his sentence was excessive. Jordan Philp

Joy after judge slashes penniless man's jail sentence

TRAUMATISED after he was shot, Jonathan Paul Finch broke into a car, looking for coins so he could call his mother to get help.

He was jailed for that.

But the former Silkstone man will now be freed, after a Brisbane District Court judge slashed his two-year jail sentence.

The successful appeal on Friday was a relief for Finch's family, as well as his barrister Angus Edwards and solicitor Jim Coburn.

Mr Edwards told NewsRegional that Finch, 33, was on parole at the time of the car break-in.

"He was at home with his family and got scared that people were after him."

Finch, who previously had drug addiction problems, fled his home.

"He ended up with some people who pointed a gun at his face."

Finch tried to move the gun away from his face and was shot in the hand, Mr Edwards said.

"He ran from those people and ended up breaking into a car, looking for coins so he could call his mum."

Mr Coburn said the two-year jail term was imposed on December 14, 2016.

In court, Judge Michael Rackemann accepted Finch was traumatised after the gun incident, and was only "looking for change to make a phone call" when he went to the car.

"There was no motivation for financial gain. It was not in any way related to any attempt to fund drug use," Judge Rackemann added.

"He didn't demonstrate recidivism."

Finch had a poor criminal history, the judge said.

In 2013, Finch faced weapons and drug charges after a series of incidents across Ipswich and Brisbane.

But he had taken some positive steps to overcoming his drug addiction, Judge Rackemann said.

The two-year sentence handed down in the magistrates court was set aside.

Finch was sentenced instead to six months jail, wholly suspended for two years, so he was to be released immediately.

Mr Edwards said his family were overjoyed at the thought of Finch coming home.

-NewsRegional


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