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Bowers v The Queen [2021] QDC 106

Offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to an offence of smoking on an aircraft contrary to Reg 255(1)(a) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (Cth). Original sentence imposed $200 fine and recording of conviction. The offender appealed on the basis that the sentence was manifestly excessive.  

Hardship to Offender: Sentencing Magistrate initially misapplied test of 19B. Once error was brought to Magistrate’s attention they did not precisely conform to the words of the statute. Offender’s conduct amounted to breach of a statutory regulation. It is not a criminal offence. Distinction is relevant when considering the impact that recording of conviction is likely to have on offender’s visa status, impending application for citizenship and employment. Recording of conviction may result in some questions being asked, but it was open to find that there would be no real impact. It may well have been that a different Magistrate would have sentenced under s19B but there was not only one appropriate sentence open in the circumstances of the matter.  

Leave to appeal against sentence refused. Appeal dismissed.
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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