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CDPP v Annesley [2022] VCC 1272

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of refusing or failing to answer a question that the Court had directed to be answered without reasonable excuse contrary to ss 597(7)(b) and 1311(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Nature and Circumstances: Offender refused to answer questions in relation to a company liquidation matter when directed by the Judicial Registrar. Offending was serious as it involved a deliberate and repeated refusal to answer a question as directed by the Court. Offending poses a risk to the proper administration of justice. Offender was warned a number of times by the Judicial Registrar that they were required to answer the question put to them but they repeatedly refused to comply.

Antecedents: Offender is 58 years of age and has no prior criminal history. Offending is an aberration of otherwise good character. Offender was suffering from stress and anxiety at the time of offending.

Delay: Offender was charged in March 2018. It is now over 4 years and 2 months since they were initially charged. There is no evidence regarding the offender’s rehabilitation efforts during this period, however they have not reoffended. Since offender was charged, they have had the prospect of a sentence of imprisonment hanging over their head. Undoubtedly, this has caused anxiety and stress.

Offender discharged under s 19B of the Crimes Act 1914 without proceeding to conviction on recognizance of $500 to be of good behaviour for 6 months.
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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