News National Man who sent bullet to Barnaby Joyce gets suspended prison sentence

Man who sent bullet to Barnaby Joyce gets suspended prison sentence

Neville Newman arrives at court. Photo: ABC
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The man who sent a bullet and threatening note to former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of $4000.

Neville Clifford Newman, 74, pleaded guilty to charges of stalking and intimidation in February.

Also in the package containing the bullet was a note referring to a range of environmental issues, including mining on the NSW Liverpool Plains and the Adani coal mine in Queensland.

The letter was opened by a staff member at the Tamworth electorate office of the then-Nationals leader during his by-election campaign.

Police arrested Newman at Armidale Police Station in December, and charged him with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend as well as stalking, intimidating with intent to cause fear of physical harm.

Police also alleged the man made a threatening phone call to the home of Mr Joyce’s parents on December 23.

The Armidale Local Court was told the 74-year-old had a clean record and was very sorry about what he had done.

Barnaby Joyce’s parents fearful after call

The court heard part of a victim impact statement from Barnaby Joyce saying the note and bullet made him feel nervous, and the threatening phone call to his parents left them feeling incredibly fearful.

Mr Joyce’s statement also said he thought Newman’s actions set a bad precedent for others in public life.

The magistrate took Newman’s good character and caring responsibilities into account when delivering the sentence.

At the time of the incident, Mr Joyce said receiving the bullet reflected “the sort of garbage we have to put up with”.

“People always think these wonderful green lobbyists, they’re all so peaceful,” he said at the time.

“When they deliver a bullet, they obviously have a firearm and they obviously own rounds of ammunition.

“This is not the sort of politics we want in Australia.”