Edward 'Ned' Saffin leaves Lismore Court House ahead of sentencing for his involvement in an armed robbery. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star
Edward 'Ned' Saffin leaves Lismore Court House ahead of sentencing for his involvement in an armed robbery. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star Jay Cronan

Saffin sentenced to 14 years in jail over Lismore sex attack

A MAN convicted of a "degrading" sexual assault on another man on the NSW North Coast has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars. 

Edward "Ned" Saffin, 32, was last year convicted on 13 charges related to a sex attack on another man near Lismore in July 2015, including several counts of indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault with deprivation of liberty.

Saffin is the son of former federal member for Page Janelle Saffin. 

In Sydney District Court on Friday, Judge Peter Whitford handed down a total sentence of 14 years, imposing a non-parole period of nine years and four months.

The court heard the offending behaviour included anal intercourse and fellatio and took place over a period of hours after Saffin drove the victim to an isolated area near Lismore at night. 

Delivering his judgment, Judge Whitford said the attack was "accompanied by repeated instances of humiliation" and violence, also describing it as "degrading". 

The offender's actions constituted a "relatively serious example of the type of offending charged", he said. 

The judge said Saffin's actions had done substantial psychological harm to the victim, who was described as "crying, distressed, hysterical (and) aggressive" following the assault. 

The court heard the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had also made several suicide attempts since the attack. 

In handing down the sentence, the judge also took into account Saffin's previous criminal history and his "limited" prospects of rehabilitation. 

He also noted that Saffin suffered from "extremely complex" psychological disorders including autism and ADHD and that he had a long history of substance abuse. 

 

Former Federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin at Sydney District Court. Her son Edward John Saffin was sentenced to 14 years for sexual assault.
Former Federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin at Sydney District Court. Her son Edward John Saffin was sentenced to 14 years for sexual assault. JANE DEMPSTER

Judge Whitford described Saffin's "supportive and loving family" as a potential "positive foundation" for change once he was released from prison. 

Saffin, wearing a green prison uniform, hung his head when the sentence was delivered. 

His mother and other supporters were at court for the sentence. 

With time already served, Saffin will be eligible for parole on August 21, 2025.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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