Cells too full for Ranger’s sentencing

The sentencing of a disabled man who stabbed a five-year-old girl 25 times has been delayed under unusual circumstances.

Ty Ranger, who has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing serious injury and one count of possessing child pornography, was due to return before Judge Roy Punshon on Monday morning for sentencing at Ballarat.

But when the matter was called, it was established the 24-year-old had not been brought to Ballarat from the maximum security prison where he was on remand.

The court heard Corrections Victoria did not bring Ranger to Ballarat after inquiries with the Ballarat Police Station revealed there were no free cells available to hold the accused.

This is the second occasion where Ranger's case has been delayed following unexpected circumstances.

Earlier this month his plea hearing was delayed after his transport bus broke down on the way to Ballarat.

Judge Punshon said while he was told this was a state-wide problem in the Magistrates' Court where some prisoners were not being brought to courts in country areas, it was not an issue he had experienced before.  

Discussions were had about what should occur next, with suggestions a videolink could be set up to accommodate sentencing in Ballarat.

But Judge Punshon said while some Judges had used a videolink in the past, the more he thought about it, the more he became uncomfortable about doing it in this case.

"I have no alternative than to sentence in Melbourne," he said.

"I'm not inclined to come back to Ballarat ... I've had two bad experiences, I don't want to risk another."

Sentencing will now take place at the County Court in Melbourne at 9.30am next Monday.

Judge Punshon told the court the Chief Judge had been notified of the transport issue, who subsequently requested a report be made into the full reasons behind it.