Dionne Lacey's prison term extended

DIONNE Lacey, 22, who was jailed in May for 10 years over the fatal shooting of Nerang landscaper Kevin Palmer in 2007 has had his sentence increased to 11 years.

He was found guilty of Mr Palmer's manslaughter.

His brother, 26-year-old wannabe rapper Jade Lacey, was jailed for five years for unlawful wounding after shooting Mr Palmer in the leg before Dionne Lacey fired the fatal bullet.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Brisbane, arguing for an increase in Dionne Lacey's 10-year sentence, saying it was the most serious crime of its kind.

Acting on behalf of Mr Dick, Walter Sofronoff QC said 16 years would be a more appropriate sentence despite the trial prosecutor asking for only 13 years.

Yesterday the Brisbane Court of Appeal increased Lacey's prison sentence to 11 years.

As Lacey has been identified as a serious violent offender, it means he will have to serve 80 per cent of his prison sentence before being eligible for parole.

He has already served more than two years in pre-sentence custody.

The Court of Appeal also heard a cross-appeal from the Laceys, who wanted their convictions overturned and also argued the sentences were too long.

Lawyer for Dionne Lacey, Bret Walker, SC, alleged one of the female jurors had been biased and that this resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

He told the Court of Appeal a woman claiming to be a juror on the trial had contacted the office of defence lawyers regarding a fellow juror.

The court heard the woman spoke of an “influential” female juror whose brother had been shot by a Lebanese man.

Mr Walker also claimed the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury in matters of law.

Jade Lacey lodged his own appeal against conviction, claiming similar allegations of juror bias and that the jury's verdict was not supported by the evidence.

However yesterday the Court of Appeal, which included Chief Justice Paul de Jersey and three other judges, dismissed the Lacey brothers' applications.

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