Court’s warning to ex-child star

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A former rising child star who featured in Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV shows has landed on the wrong side of the law once again.

Jarin Towney, 24, secured his big break in Mel Gibson’s 2016 blockbuster, Hacksaw Ridge, and played regular roles in roles in hit TV shows including Underbelly and Packed to the Rafters.

But a few years ago, Towney was fined for several crimes including offensive behaviour, hindering police, trespassing and property damage.

Then in 2022, he was handed a 2.5-year community correction order (CCO) for more property damage, after he was caught tagging a moving train on Sydney’s train network.

Now, he’s been sentenced in Downing Centre Local Court for driving on a motorbike with a suspended licence, escaping a conviction.

Jarin Towney arrives at the 2015 ASTRA Awards in 2015. Picture: AAP/Gaye GerardJarin Towney arrives at the 2015 ASTRA Awards in 2015. Picture: AAP/Gaye Gerard

Towney pleaded guilty to the charge on February 27.

During his sentencing proceedings on Thursday, Towney’s lawyer, Emily Muir, told the court her client had “some CCOs” on his record, but none were for traffic matters.

She told the court Towney’s licence was suspended because of an accumulation of demerit points and asked for a CRO without conviction.

“He has a strong need for his licence,” Ms Muir said.

“He works in a retail shop in Newtown and receives some Centrelink (assistance). He has been catching public transport to work and community corrections.

Phyllis Foundis and Jarin Towney at the 2015 ASTRA Award nominations.Phyllis Foundis and Jarin Towney at the 2015 ASTRA Award nominations.

“I can see he has significant traffic record, but not any significant traffic criminal charges”.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Theo Tsavdaridis said the suspended licence charge was recorded because Towney had not completed a traffic knowledge course.

“He was driving a motorcycle and there do not appear to be aggravated circumstances,” he said.

“He was driving in Surry Hills and immediately notified police his licence was suspended and had not done the test to increase traffic offender knowledge. He has incurred number of demerit points in the last few years. Since then, though, he has completed the test and his current licence expires in November 2025”.

Jarin Towney as a child and an adultJarin Towney as a child and an adult

Noting Towney seemed to have good prospects of rehabilitation, Magistrate Tsavdaridis did not convict him of the offence and instead sentenced him to a 12-month conditional release order where he must be of good behaviour.

He told the former star he “must not do anything wrong” for the next year.

“Today there is no fine, no penalty, no points, no conviction”.

Towney’s record of petty crimes followed several strong years on screen which culminated in an ASTRA Award nomination.

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According to the internet Movie Database, Towney first appeared in three episodes of Underbelly in 2011.

He went on to feature in the 2012 movie Two Little Boys, starring Hamish Blake, before landing roles in TV series Devil’s Playground and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, as well as movies Hacksaw Ridge and Chasing Wonders.

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