Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Apparently, Australia still crushes butterflies on wheels

Allison Durbin, one of the biggest Australian chart acts of the early seventies, has been jailed for twelve months after being convicted of "growing and trafficking" cannabis.

Some of Antipodean pop's elder statesmen have condemned such a strict sentence for a woman who has managed to fight back from a life ruined by heroin addiction. John Farnham, who recorded an album of duets with Durbin, said:

"I think we need to show Allison a bit of compassion. It's not condoning what she's done, just to remind people that she's a human being ... and at heart a top person."

Rick Springfield, who got an early break as Durbin's touring guitarist, agreed:
"I am very concerned for Ali with the sentence she got. She is a fragile soul and this could kill her spirit."

The judge, Ian Robertson, appears to have taken a hard line with Durbin because she had beaten heroin - and thus, in his view, should know that drugs are bad things, although the logic of that would mean she'd have got a lighter sentence if she was still an addict.

Her solicitor says Durbin - now known as Allison Giles - intends to appeal.