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   His hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, Mendax blinked and rolled

   his eyes several times as if brought from a dark space into the

   bright, white-walled courtroom.

  

   Judge Ross, a ruddy-faced and jowly man of late middle age with bushy,

   grey eyebrows, seated himself in his chair. At first, he was reluctant

   to take on the case for sentencing. He thought it should be returned

   to one of the original judges--Judge Kimm or Judge Lewis. When he

   walked into court that morning, he had not read the other judges'

   sentences.

  

   Lesley Taylor summarised the punishments handed down to the other two

   hackers. The judge did not look altogether pleased. Finally, he

   announced he would deal with the case. `Two judges have had a crack at

   it, why not a third one? He might do it properly.'

  

   Galbally was concerned. As the morning progressed, he became

   increasingly distressed; things were not going well. Judge Ross made

   clear that he personally favoured a custodial sentence, albeit a

   suspended one. The only thing protecting Mendax seemed to be the

   principle of parity in sentencing. Prime Suspect and Trax had

   committed similar crimes to Mendax, and therefore he had to be given a

   similar sentence.

  

   Ross `registered some surprise' at Judge Lewis's disposition toward

   the sentencing of Prime Suspect. In the context of parity, he told

   Leslie Taylor, he was at times `quite soured by some penalties'

   imposed by other judges. He quizzed her for reasons why he might be

   able to step outside parity.

  

   He told the court that he had not read the telephone intercepts in the

   legal brief. In fact, he had `only read the summary of facts' and when

   Taylor mentioned `International Subversive', he asked her, `What was

   that?'

  

   Then he asked her how to spell the word `phreak'.

  

   Later that day, after Judge Ross had read the other judges' sentences,

   he gave Mendax a sentence similar to Prime Suspect's--a recorded

   conviction on all counts, a reparation payment of $2100 to ANU and a

   three-year good behaviour bond.

  

   There were two variations. Prime Suspect and Trax both received $500

   good behaviour bonds; Judge Ross ordered a $5000 bond for Mendax.

   Further, Judge Lewis had given Prime Suspect almost twelve months to

   pay his $2100 reparation. Judge Ross ordered Mendax to pay within

   three months.

  

   Judge Ross told Mendax, `I repeat what I said before. I thought

   initially that these were offences which justified a jail sentence, but

   the mitigatory circumstances would have converted that to a suspended

   sentence. The sentence given to your co-offender caused me to alter that

   view, however.' He was concerned, he said, `that highly intelligent

   individuals ought not to behave like this and I suspect it is only

   highly intelligent individuals who can do what you did'.

  

   The word `addiction' did not appear anywhere in the sentencing

   transcript.