Tears as justice for Dutchy as Tiffany Pandel found guilty after trial


GUILTY: Tiffany Pandel leaving Newcastle courthouse on Monday after being found guilty of aggravated robbery and inflict actual bodily harm. She had her bail continued until sentencing in Sydney in October. A SINGLE tear rolling down her cheek, Carolyn Holland said she was relieved that justice had been done for her late husband, Australian Test cricketlegend Robert “Dutchy” Holland OAM.

Moments earlier, Tiffany Pandel, now 23, of Awaba, had been found guilty of aggravated robbery and inflict actual bodily harm after a four-day trial in Newcastle District Court.

The verdict brought to a close nearly two years of heartache for the Holland family that began when Carolyn and Robert were bashed and robbed of their phones when they arrivedat Awaba Oval to find Pandel and her then boyfriend, Benjamin Gibbs, riding a motorbike on the field.

With Pandel’s fate determined, the Newcastle Herald can reveal that Gibbs was jailed for a maximum of five-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of three years and four months in Newcastle District Court last month.

It was the afternoon of August 27, 2016, when Mr Holland, the secretary of the Awaba Ovals board, approached Gibbs and asked him to ride his dirtbike on a neighbouring field.

But when the conversation became ugly Mrs Holland pulled out her phone to begin videoing.

Gibbs then “made a beeline” towards Mrs Holland on his bike, knocking her to the groundbefore she was repeatedly kicked in the face and ribs by Pandel.

While Mr Holland, who had a sling on his right arm after recent shoulder surgery, was punched and kicked to the ground by Gibbs.

The Hollands both had their phones stolen, with the focus of Pandel’s trial whether or not she robbed Mrs Holland.

Mr Holland, who made his Test debut in 1984 at the age of 38 and famously spun Australia to victory with 10 wickets against the West Indies at the SCG in early 1985, succumbed to brain cancer on September 17, 2017.

After the verdict on Monday, Mrs Holland was overcome with emotion when asked if this meant justice for her late husband.

“Yep,” Mrs Holland said, choking back tears.“Certainly was. More than anything a day of justice for him.

“I’m just happy that it is sorted for Robert.”

During a sentence hearing for Gibbs last month, Mrs Holland eloquently outlined the influence the assault had on her and her husband in a powerful victim impact statement.

“Even now …I am still discovering all of the ways that your crimes perpetrated against my husband on that day and how they are affecting my day-to-day life,” Mrs Holland said.

“The memory of you kicking my husband while he was on the ground with his shoulder in a sling, unable to defend himself, will remain with me forever.”

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