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Almaouie v The Queen [2021] NSWCCA 274

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty for an offence of conspiracy to do acts in preparation for a terrorist act contrary to ss 11.5 and 101.6(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offender sentenced for additional state offences. Original sentence imposed 18 years and 10 months imprisonment with a 14 year and 2 month non-parole period. Offender appealed on the basis that the sentencing judge erred in not taking into account the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty and that the sentencing judge erred in commencing the sentence for the firearms offences on 18 December rather than the first day in custody (9 January).  

Commencement of Sentences: The commission of an error in fixing the commencement date does not necessarily engage any obligation in this Court to re-exercise the sentencing discretion as opposed to adjusting the start date to address the identified error.  

Guilty Plea: Xiao error identified. A discount of 10% on account of the utilitarian value of the plea is warranted. Offender has behaved generally well in custody but has incurred three breaches of prison discipline and has declined to be assessed for participation in deradicalization programs. If the Court did not interfere with offender’s sentence there would be an unjustified disparity between offender’s sentence and that imposed on Khalid on appeal, given Khalid’s greater role in the offence.  

Leave to appeal granted. Original sentence set aside. Offender resentenced to 16 years and 6 months imprisonment with a 12 year and 6 month non-parole period.
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