Mark Stocco to appeal 40-year sentence for murder, shootings

Special Operations Group officers gather in Yea in a massive manhunt for the elusive father and son Gino and Mark Stocco in bush north of Melbournein October 2015. Picture: Jason SouthMark Stocco and his father Gino are notorious for spending years on the run. Now, Mark is making another dash for freedom.

The younger Stocco will appeal his 40-year prison term on November 24 in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

He and his father were dubbed modern day bushrangers when they shot and sped their way to infamy in 2015.

Mark Stocco was sentenced to a minimum 30-year term for murder, recklessly destroy property by fire, and two charges of discharging a firearm to avoid apprehension.

Gino Stocco was also sentenced to 40 years, but is eligible for parole two years before his son.

The pair were charged in NSW in 2015, but have since been questioned by Victorian and Queensland detectives about crimes in those states, and have made full admissions.

Those states are expected to charge them – mostly with property-related offending – once the pair complete their NSW sentences.

In sentencing the men in March, Justice David Davies said Gino Stocco had been given a shorter non-parole term because of his age: he is 59, Mark is 38.

Gino Stocco will be 85 before he is due for release.

“It is likely he will spend his eighties in prison,” Justice Davies said.

“It may be accepted that imprisonment is more onerous for an older or elderly person and I find special circumstances in that regard. I do not accept that there are special circumstances in respect of Mark Stocco.

“The time he will spend on parole will be adequate for further rehabilitation and re-integration into the community.”

The pair pleaded guilty at an early stage, and were accordingly given a 25 per cent discount on their sentence.

But Detective Chief Inspector Michael Sheehy of NSW Police still described it as “exceptional”.

“Both Gino and Mark Stocco are callous, violent criminals who today have been held accountable for their actions,” Detective Chief Inspector Sheehy said.

“These individuals chose a path of crime.”

The Stoccos became itinerant farm workers in 2007 after being jailed in Victoria for robbing the Port Fairy Yacht Club, among other offences.

For the next eight years, they irrationally lashed out at farmers, stole without thought, and conducted vengeful acts of destruction under cover of darkness, but their bizarre crimes were relatively unknown until Gino was listed as one of ‘s most wanted.

Days later, the pairs shot at police near Wagga Wagga, sparking a 12-day manhunt and thrusting them further into the national spotlight.

When police found the Stoccos hunkered down at an isolated property east of Dubbo, they also uncovered the body of caretaker Rosario Cimone.

The pair had shot Cimone dead after a squabble about their work on the property.

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