That is despite John Van Der Shuit having lived in Australia for 40 years.

Van Der Shuit’s crime, supplying 453 grams of cannabis to various people over a period of about seven weeks.

Justice Mildren said the accused had prior convictions for traffic offences and possession and cultivation of cannabis, but had not offended since 2011. He said Van Der Shuit had used cannabis intermittently throughout his life.That had increased when his partner died of cancer in 2018.

The judge said in sentencing….

“There will be some separation from your son and daughter living in Alice Springs and your other children, but I see no reason why they couldn’t visit you from time to time.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports

A Northern Territory judge has told a 63-year-old Alice Springs man who admitted to supplying cannabis that it would not be “much of a hardship” for him to be sent back to the Netherlands, despite him having left the country when he was six months old.

John Van Der Shuit appeared before the Alice Springs Supreme Court on Friday having pleaded guilty earlier this year to three charges relating to the possession and supply of cannabis.

In his evidence he told the court he was born in the Netherlands and left the country for New Zealand when he was six months old.

He then spent some 22 years in New Zealand before moving to Australia, where he has remained for about 40 years as a permanent resident.

But Van Der Shuit is not an Australian citizen, meaning he could now face deportation.

Acting Justice Dean Mildren said the Minister might decide not to deport the accused, or there might be an appeal to a tribunal.

Though he conceded there was still a risk of deportation, he said he would not be taking that into consideration for sentencing.

“So I make whatever sentence I intend to make without taking that possibility into account,” Justice Mildren said.

“Even at your age I suspect you will be able to find work there, [and] although you don’t have relatives there, I don’t think you would have much trouble meeting new people and making friends.

“There will be some separation from your son and daughter living in Alice Springs and your other children, but I see no reason why they couldn’t visit you from time to time.!n1%5d%3a8935&user_id=e3c5350e999248cbc66e0a383fe4b26c088114dc0e8b1d8fa0c22b6e4dc5d066&WT.tsrc=email&WT.mc_id=Email%7c%5bnews_sfmc_newsmail_pm_df_!n1%5d%7c8935ABCNewsmail_topstories_articlelink


Yet, according to his wikipedia page Mildren appeared to be happy to give a sex offender the benefit of doubt when sentencing in a previous case.

That individual then went on to re-offend in a most horrendous manner, see below

Wikipedia: Legal work in the Northern Territory,cases%20in%20the%20Northern%20Territory.

Mildren relocated to the Northern Territory in 1972 and established the firm Mildren & Partners in which he practised as a barrister & solicitor.[1]

Mildren practised as a barrister from 1980 until his appointment to the bench in 1991.[1] He was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 1983 and was President of the Northern Territory Bar Association from 1987–91[3] having been Vice-President from 1989–90.[1]

During his time on the bench, he was the judge responsible for giving confessed child-rapist Brett Peter Cowan the “benefit of any doubt” and a short sentence in his second conviction as a sex offender, despite expert recommendation against the man who had been found guilty of abducting and carrying out an anal rape, torture, and strangulation of a 6-year-old boy in such violent fashion that outcry witnesses initially thought the child had been hit by a car.

The judge’s justification for the short sentence was that the pedophile had made a “fairly spontaneous indication to the police that he needs help,” with the criminal’s lies about intent during the assault and consciousness of guilt after it given more credence than the psychologist who questioned whether Cowan was even capable of the emotion of remorse.

After his release, Cowan would go on to offend again, abducting and this time murdering 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe in 2003. However, it is the matter of mandatory sentencing for murderers that Mildren considers “unjust and unfair.” [4] He also worries about conditions child rapists might experience in hot, overcrowded prisons, which was his reasoning for shorter sentences given to other sex offenders for crimes reaching back into the 1980s, though how prison maintenance related to sentencing guidelines under the law was unclear.[5]

Acting Justice Dean Mildren


Dean Mildren was appointed as an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court in February 2013.

Prior to this appointment His Honour had been a permanent Judge of the Supreme Court between June 1991 and February 2013.

His Honour was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1968 and the Northern Territory in 1970.  He practised as a barrister and solicitor in Adelaide between 1968 and 1971 and in Darwin between 1972 and 1980.

His Honour joined the independent bar in 1980 and was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Counsel in 1983.

His Honour’s other appointments have included:

  • Chairman of NT Planning Appeal Committee 1979-1985
  • Deputy Chairman of Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee 1983-1988
  • President of the Law Society NT 1973-75; 1979-1981
  • President of the NT Bar Association 1987-1991
  • Vice President of the Australian Bar Association 1989-1990
  • President of the NT Law Reform Committee 1991-1997
  • Chairman of the NT Council of Law Reporting 1991-1995; 1999-2012
  • Military service in the Army Legal Corps 1974-1996 including service as a Defence Force Magistrate (1986-1991) and as a Judge Advocate (1986-1996) rising to the rank of Colonel . Awarded RFD and Bar in 1995
  • Member of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal 1996-2013
  • Part time lecturer NT University and Charles Darwin University 1997-2012
  • Adjunct Professor of Law 1997-2002
  • Commissioner of the High Court of the Solomon Islands 2016-2017

His Honour is the author of several publications including:

  • Northern Territory Judgments 1918-1950 NTU Press 2001
  • Big Boss Fella All Same Judge Federation Press 2011
  • The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Courts Federation Press 2015
  • R v Murdoch- the Falconio Case Lexis Nexis Butterworths 2015
  • Numerous articles in various journals and other works


VIDEOS – Brett Cowan

Covert recording of Brett Cowans confession to police

The court was played a video of a meeting between Cowan and an undercover police officer posing as a crime boss at the Perth Hyatt.

Police release video of officers arresting Brett Peter Cowan

The undercover operation that caught Daniel Morcombe’s killer


Also see 

ABC News Interview Re Justice Mildren’s Comments On Mandatory Sentencing

This week, a Supreme Court judge in the Northern Territory took aim at mandatory sentencing. Under Northern Territory law, the crime of murder attracts a mandatory ‘non parole period’ of at least 20 years in jail. Handing down the sentence for a contract killer, Justice Dean Mildren recommended the man be released earlier if he gives evidence against his co-accused.