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Ex-NRL player jailed for animal smuggling

Former rugby league player Martin Kennedy has been jailed for four years for wildlife smuggling after an appeal court ruled a good-behaviour bond wasn't a tough enough penalty.

The former Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos prop - whose NRL career ended with a doping ban in 2016 - was immediately taken into custody today after the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal decision.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty in 2018 to six offences including attempting to export shingleback lizards to Sweden, importing alligator snapping turtles and neotropical stingrays from Thailand, and illegally possessing two pythons at his Sydney home.

A District Court judge ruled he had excellent prospects of rehabilitation and sentenced him to the longest good-behaviour bond available to judges.

But the appeal court on Friday agreed with prosecutors that the sentence was manifestly inadequate.

"This is some of the most serious offending of its kind which has come before the courts," Justices Anthony Payne and Elizabeth Fullerton said.

Shingleback lizard (file picture). Source: istock.com


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