Broadcaster Derryn Hinch says he will go to jail instead of paying a $100,000 fine for contempt of court.
Hinch, 69, was ordered to pay the fine – or face 50 days in jail – after breaching a suppression order about Melbourne woman Jill Meagher’s killer.
“On principle I will not pay the $100,000 fine which was due today,” he told the Seven Network on Thursday.
“Instead, I’ll go to jail.”
Hinch was found guilty of contempt for breaching a suppression order made by Victorian Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Nettle.
In sentencing Hinch in October, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye said the former broadcaster’s web posts had been populist and self-serving.
“Your conduct was grossly irresponsible,” Justice Kaye told Hinch.
“Although you thought you knew better than Justice Nettle, clearly you did not.”
It is Hinch’s sixth conviction for contempt of court or related offences, a record which Justice Kaye said was disgraceful.
Hinch apologised at the time, but on Thursday said recent cases had prompted him to send a message to the judiciary.
“I’ll go to jail for 50 days to draw attention to all the suspended sentences for crimes of violence and child pornography, for the obscenely short sentences given to king-hit killers,” he said.
Hinch said he was unimpressed with the fact former magistrate Simon Cooper had avoided jail, despite pleading guilty to seven counts of indecent assault committed in the 1980s.
Hinch spent 12 days in jail in 1987 for contempt of court after he revealed pedophile priest Michael Glennon’s prior conviction while a trial was pending.
He was sentenced to five months’ home detention in 2011 after publishing the suppressed identities of sex offenders.
The magistrate, Charlie Rozencwajg, told him he would have had no hesitation in sending Hinch to jail had it not been for the broadcaster’s poor health, having just received a liver transplant.
The former newspaper editor had a net value of $1.18 million and an annual income of $212,000, the Supreme Court was told last year.