Mag­is­trate sends re­al­ity TV show star for drug rehabilitation

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

WILL­MOT’S Corey Kennedy di­vided a na­tion when his fam­ily was por­trayed as typ­i­cal dis­ad­van­taged pub­lic hous­ing ten­ants in 2015 SBS doc­u­men­tary Strug­gle Street.

Dur­ing the three-part series, Corey came un­der in­tense scru­tiny for his on­go­ing ad­dic­tion to the drug ice.

Aus­tralians were torn, judg­ing his ad­dic­tion or de­fend­ing the Kennedy fam­ily as in­no­cent pawns for TV rat­ings.

Last week a mag­is­trate de­cided to give Corey Kennedy a sec­ond chance.

COREY Kennedy, the trou­bled young fa­ther on con­tro­ver­sial SBS doc­u­men­tary

Strug­gle Street, last week had sen­tenc­ing for a high­speed po­lice chase de­ferred un­til Au­gust so he could at­tend a rehabilitation clinic.

Ash­ley Kennedy said this was son Corey’s “last chance” to avoid a prison sen­tence and kick his ad­dic­tion to the drug ice.

“I hope I get my son back,” Mr Kennedy said this week.

Corey, 26, of Will­mot, was charged on March 3 with lead­ing po­lice on a high speed chase, driv­ing an un­reg­is­tered ve­hi­cle and driv­ing with a can­celled li­cence, among seven listed of­fences.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

Al­most a year after SBS put the lives of Corey and his fam­ily un­der the mi­cro­scope on na­tional tele­vi­sion, the young man is still strug­gling to get his life in or­der.

His crim­i­nal sen­tenc­ing was de­ferred un­til Au­gust 25, so he could at­tend a Vic­to­rian rehabilitation clinic.

The $40,000 fee has been waived by the clinic.

“I feel a lot more hope­ful now. I do,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Now he is down there — the wife spoke to some­one to­day and ap­par­ently he is do­ing all right.”

Mr Kennedy, who told a Chan­nel 9 re­porter in April he hoped his son went to jail, now hopes Corey can use the free rehabilitation op­por­tu­nity to get his life back.

“He is go­ing to give it a go,” Mr Kennedy told The Stan

dard. “He told me he is go­ing to do his best; he is go­ing to do it for his son and girl­friend.

“I told him be­fore he left I loved him.”

Corey sat in Pen­rith Lo­cal Court on May 27, a few seats over from his par­ents, as his lawyer sug­gested a rehabilitation stint, claim­ing he was “un­suit­able” for jail due to his ad­mit­ted drug prob­lem.

“He’s got a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to do res­i­den­tial rehabilitation,’’ Corey’s coun­sel said.

“He was ap­proached after (be­ing seen in the) me­dia. It nor­mally costs up to $40,000 but he has been of­fered it free of charge.”

Mag­is­trate Stephen Corry granted a Sec­tion 11 re­mand (de­fer­ral for rehabilitation).

Out­side court in April, Corey ad­mit­ted to the po­lice chase.

“They put the sirens, on I freaked and took off … be­cause I was stupid and weren’t think­ing straight,” he said. He ad­mit­ted to be­ing high on ice dur­ing the high speed chase along the Great Western High­way and Glos­sop St in St Marys.

Mr Kennedy said Corey was a “good boy” be­fore he started us­ing drugs, which be­gan when his brother had a near-fa­tal accident in 2007.

He told me he is go­ing to do his best; he is go­ing to do it for his son and girl­friend Ash­ley Kennedy

Mt Druitt footy star Mark Geyer lends his sup­port to Corey Kennedy in the af­ter­after­math­math of Strug­gle

Street last year and (in­set) Corey with his son on the show. Main pic­ture: Jonathan Ng STRUG­GLE Do­ing it tough

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