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DPP v Torbert [2023] ACTSC 332

See full judgment: Austlii.

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of failing to comply with a s 3LA order contrary to s 3LA(6) of the Crimes Act 1914. Offender also sentenced for territory property, drug, and violence offences.

Guilty Plea: Offender pleaded guilty on the first day the matter was listed for trial. This was a very late plea indeed, and the prosecution case was a strong one. Nonetheless, the plea did have a utilitarian benefit.

Nature and Circumstances: Offender’s decision to not comply with the order is unexplained by any evidence. Although police were able to gain access to offender’s mobile phone without offender’s help, that does not mean that the offence was not serious.

Mental Condition: Offender has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, an antisocial personality disorder, and ADHD. There is no evidence to sugges any causal connection between offender’s mental condition and their offending, so their moral culpability is not diminished by the conditions from which they suffer. On the other hand, offender’s time in custody will be harder than would otherwise have been the case.

Rehabilitation: Offender has a reasonably lengthy criminal history involving offences of violence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment, and possession of weapons amongst other matters. It is notable however that their last offence of violence was committed in 2014, almost 10 years ago. Community corrections assess offender as having a medium risk of reoffending, their risk factors including substance use, unemployment, and mental health. It certainly could not be said that offender has good prospects of rehabilitation and is unlikely to offend again in the future.

Offender sentenced to 4 months imprisonment for the Commonwealth offence.

The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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