It was perhaps the most confronting child abuse crime in decades — ice head Anthony Sampieri filmed his abduction and rape of a young girl in a Sydney dance studio metres from her mother. Now he is sitting in prison preparing his appeal.
Sampieri, last February, became the first person in NSW to be sentenced to life without parole after pleading guilty to abducting and binding a seven-year-old girl in a dance studio toilet in Kogarah.
The drug-addicted Sampieri filmed his prolonged abuse of the child before two dads stumbled on the harrowing scene and beat the paedophile unconscious. One of the rescuers, Nick Gilio, was stabbed by Sampieri in the process.
Sampieri looked white and shaken as NSW District Court Judge Paul Conlon handed him the ultimate penalty in February.
He had apologised and told the judge that a recent cancer diagnosis meant it was unlikely he would survive the next five years.
But Judge Conlon had faced Sampieri and his “circumspect” apologies before.
In 2012 he had sentenced the drug addict after he raped an older woman in an unprovoked attack south of Sydney.
He raped the girl at Kogarah after being released from prison and Judge Conlon’s second sentence meant Sampieri had no chance of walking the streets again.
But Sampieri lodged an intention to appeal immediately after the landmark ruling last year.
He was not in court on Thursday as his high profile lawyer, Penny Musgrave, dialled in to confirm the date.
Sampieri’s taxpayer-funded fight for a lesser sentence will be heard by the Court of Criminal Appeal on June 16.
Sampieri was not the only high profile convicted criminal to have his appeal hearing take another step on Thursday.
Mahmoud “Brownie” Ahmad, 37, the brother of slain Sydney crime figure Walid “Wally” Ahmad, was sentenced to seven years prison for the shooting manslaughter of Safwan Charbaji in April 2016.
Wally fired the fatal shots, the NSW Supreme Court heard, after Brownie fired a round into the air.
Weeks after the shooting of Charbaji, which kicked off a gangland war, Wally was gunned down in Bankstown.
Ahmad is appealing his sentence.
Meanwhile prosecutors are appealing what they say was a “manifestly inadequate” sentence for Rabih Abdulrahman last May.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and driving while disqualified when he ran a red light and struck a 12-year-old boy, killing him.
He was high on drugs at the time.
He is serving six years and 10 months in prison, with a non-parole period of four years and six months.
Like with Sampieri, the taxpayer picked up Abdulrahman’s legal bills.
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