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Elderly Australian denied sentencing break

Dec. 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM

BRISBANE, Australia, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- An elderly Australian who sent explosives to the prime minister must serve at least eight months in jail, an appeals court said Tuesday.

The Court of Appeal rejected arguments by a lawyer for John Gilbert Gordon that the 81-year-old Queensland man should be spared incarceration, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The court said Gordon is getting a break since his plea agreement could have required he serve 10 months of his 2 1/2-year sentence.

Gordon admitted in July in Brisbane that he sent six letters that included a bullet attached to a detonator. One went to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

He sent other anonymous letters without explosives to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and John Bathersby, who was the Catholic archbishop of Brisbane at the time. The Australian Federal Police began an investigation after Tony Abbott, the opposition leader in Parliament, received a threatening letter.

In some of his letters, Gordon said the Vatican was doomed to destruction. In one, he said he poisoned the water at a motel where asylum seekers were housed.

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