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Australian Jailed Over Letter Bombs

April 26, 2000

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ A disgruntled former tax worker who spread terror through Australia when he mailed letter bombs to former colleagues was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.

Colin George Dunstan, 44, was convicted at an earlier hearing of mailing 28 bombs packed in plastic computer disc cases in 1998. Only one exploded, slightly injuring a postal worker in Canberra, the capital.

Dunstan mailed the bombs after a dispute with tax officials and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission over a failed affair with a co-worker.

Doctors said he was profoundly depressed and suicidal at the time.

Dunstan claimed the devices were not meant to work, but army explosives experts said they would explode on opening and could have killed or caused serious injury.

Canberra Supreme Court Judge Terrence Higgins said Dunstan mailed the bombs out of a desire for revenge.

``His crimes were a product of self pity and a desire for revenge,″ Higgins said.

Dunstan said nothing as the sentence was pronounced.

His attorney, Daryl Perkins, said he would appeal the conviction and sentence.

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