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Judge takes aim at media in Wran case

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 Sophie Tarr

The NSW Supreme Court judge who sentenced Harriet Wran over her role in a deadly robbery says he considered the "humiliating" headlines her case had generated when determining how much longer she should remain behind bars.

Justice Ian Harrison handed Wran a two-year minimum sentence on Tuesday after she pleaded guilty to charges of robbery in company and acting as an accessory to the murder of drug dealer Daniel McNulty in 2014, meaning that with time served, the 28-year-old will become eligible for parole in August.

Wran, the youngest daughter of former premier Neville Wran, was initially charged with murder.

In extraordinary comments from the bench, Justice Harrison took aim at reporting of the case, saying that media attention had made Wran a potential target while in custody.

"Ms Wran has been subjected to a sustained and unpleasant campaign by some of the daily newspapers circulating in Sydney," he said, adding that Wran's privacy had been "grossly invaded".

"Family photos have been re-published. Ms Wran's private correspondence has been extracted for prurient consumption.

"Even her distraught telephone calls to her mother have been transcribed and, in an extraordinary step, re-enacted for listeners to consume online."

The judge said the intense media attention Wran's case had attracted was disproportionate to her involvement in the events surrounding Mr McNulty's murder.

"She submitted that it is therefore appropriate significantly to mitigate her sentence in these circumstances," he said.

"In my opinion the publication of these egregious articles warrants the imposition of a sentence that takes account of Ms Wran's continuing exposure to the risk of custodial retribution, the unavoidable spectre of enduring damage to her reputation and an impeded recovery from her ongoing mental health and drug-related problems."

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