Wesley Newell: Buff Brownlow Medal guard avoids jail time for contraband offence
A bodybuilder who went viral five years ago as the buff security guard delivering the Brownlow Medal votes has escaped being sent to prison for smuggling tobacco into jail.
Wesley Newell, 43, pleaded guilty to misconduct of a public official in the County Court of Victoria earlier this month after he smuggled tobacco, bodybuilding magazines and an ice pipe into Ravenhall prison while working as a guard.
Judge Michael Bourke decided against sending Newell to prison after he made full admissions to police beyond what he had been caught doing red-handed.
He was sentenced for smuggling 26 100 gram packets of tobacco into the western Melbourne jail.
However, the court was told that investigators only knew about 16 of those packets because Newell made an unguarded confession when confronted about his actions by fellow prison staff.
Newell stole the show at the 2016 Brownlows while delivering the Armaguard suitcase of votes, with viewers more interested in the size of his biceps than the frocks and suits.
The court was told that Newell took a job as a correctional officer in 2018.
He had a clean criminal record but agreed to sneak the contraband into jail after he ran into financial hardship, the court was told.
“It was explained that at the time of the offence, you faced financial difficulty arising from the end of a long-term relationship and a financial settlement which required the sale of two investment properties,” Judge Bourke said.
Newell was paid $11,200 for smuggling in the items.
He was facing a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in jail, and Judge Bourke said the only reason he wasn’t sent to prison to live among the same prisoners he used to guard was because of the extensive admissions he made to authorities and his guilty plea.
“Your offending is self-evidently a very serious breach of trust,” Judge Bourke said during his sentencing remarks.
“It had some sophistication and planning and exploited your position and knowledge of the prison system.
“It was done for financial benefit.”
He was convicted, fined $40,000, sentenced to a two-year community corrections order and ordered to perform 300 hours of community work.
“Do you understand that,” Judge Bourke said.
“Yes Your Honour,” Newell said.
“And do you agree to it,” Judge Bourke said.
“Yes I do Your Honour,” Newell said.
Originally published as Wesley Newell: Buff Brownlow Medal guard avoids jail time for contraband offence
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