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Martin Bryant's lawyer to flog art collection

Martin Bryant's lawyer to flog art collection

The jailed Tasmanian lawyer John Avery is selling his art collection to pay off debts.Avery was jailed in September 2008 for stealing over $500,000 from his clients and colleagues at his firm…

The jailed Tasmanian lawyer John Avery is selling his art collection to pay off debts.

Avery was jailed in September 2008 for stealing over $500,000 from his clients and colleagues at his firm Avery Partners.

His original jail term of four-and-a-half years was increased to six years, with a non parole period of four years, in May last year.

Avery, a prominent criminal defence lawyer who represented the Port Arthur massacre perpetrator Martin Bryant, claimed that he stole the money to fund an extensive art collection.

At Avery's initial trial, his counsel, David Gunson SC, said that the pressure from the Bryant trial contributed to his later acts of fraud.

Yesterday (9 November) Moss Green Auctions announced that more than 100 works from Avery's collection will be auctioned. It is expected the sale will raise over $200,000, and help pay the estimated $1.3 million Avery still owes.

A portrait of Avery was entered into this year's Archibald Prize by the artist Stewart MacFarlane, who had previously sold work to the disgraced lawyer.

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