A standover man described as “looking like the incredible Hulk, only not green” is set to remain behind bars until early 2014.
Christopher John Butler has already lodged an appeal against his conviction and is set to broaden it to include his three-year sentence.
Acting Justice John Nield handed down the sentence in the ACT Supreme Court this morning, describing the 33-year-old’s actions as an attempt to extort $60,000 from his victim, a Fyshwick businessman.
He set a non-parole period of 18 months, making Butler eligible for release in January 2014.
In July, Justice Nield found Butler guilty of making a demand accompanied by a threat to endanger health.
The Crown case hinged on a recorded conversation between Butler and the businessman in the victim’s shop.
Butler claimed to be working for a mysterious “boss” in Sydney with the clout to collect debts from bikies.
He described himself as “the first step, the polite step” but warned if a “6 foot 7 guy named Junior comes into your shop, run”.
Defence barrister Ken Archer, during sentencing submissions, said the shady interstate boss was a story Butler made up.
“I doubt that this revelation would give much comfort to the complainant,” Justice Nield said today.
“The complainant believed what the offender told him.
“He believed the threat the offender made to him, his wife and children.”
Butler’s legal team had always disputed their client threatened the victim’s family, and it is likely to be a key point in the appeal.
Justice Nield noted Butler had been dealt with for 22 offences in the past, including four for violence.
Three of those stemmed from an altercation at a Kingston pub when Butler was working as a security guard.
And the judge said his previous offences “paled into comparison” to the latest crime.
Justice Nield accepted Butler had a stable home life and an “even chance” of not reoffending.
He said what Butler did was extortion, “something that cannot be condoned or tolerated”.
It’s unclear when the appeal will be heard.