The son of former NSW premier Kristina Keneally has maintained he made an “honest mistake” after he avoided jail on Thursday for falsifying evidence which led to a man’s wrongful imprisonment.
Daniel Keneally, 25, was found guilty last year of fabricating the contents of a phone call which he received while working as a junior cop at Newtown police station in 2021.
Keneally claimed the caller, Luke Moore, made death threats about a rural detective. His report saw Mr Moore thrown in custody for three weeks.
Magistrate Rodney Brender sentenced Keneally to a 15 months intensive correction order, to be served in the community, and 200 hours of community service.
Despite avoiding custody, Mr Keneally’s lawyer Paul McGirr said after the sentencing that his client would be appealing the order. He said Keneally did not intentionally fabricate the evidence and would “keep his head up”.
“There’s expert evidence to show how fallible the mind can be you, me, everybody, we all makes mistakes,” he said outside Sydney’s Downing Centre.
“As the magistrate found there was no motive. He wasn’t trying to get promoted. He didn’t know Moore. So that gives a bit of credence to what we’re saying it was an honest mistake.”
In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Brender described Keneally’s actions as a “crime against public justice” and said it was in the mid-range of seriousness.
Mr Brender said the sentence needed to send a strong message of “general detereance” to the community about misconduct of those in the judicial system.
“You were young. You were an inexperienced officer,” the magistrate said.