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CDPP v Forcade [2022] VCC 117

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. Offence related to 122.8kg of pure methamphetamine.

Contrition: Offender had knowledge of the controlled drugs and essential nature of the transactions beyond reasonable doubt. Guilty plea was conducted with the offender endeavouring to minimise their true criminality. Some limited remorse can be founded in the offender’s dreadful predicament warranting some regret for committing this serious crime.

Rehabilitation: Offender has had the ability to reflect on their criminality whilst being in custody. Offender tried to minimise their conduct, which is not too encouraging, but is perhaps unsurprising as they are in a very serious predicament. Offender does not have a prior criminal history, but this is an extraordinarily serious piece of offending. It was calculated conduct requiring the offender to travel from Malaysia to Australia. Offender knew they were taking a massive risk and was prepared to take the risk for financial reward. Offender’s prospects of rehabilitation are at least good but remain guarded given the seriousness of the crime, its calculated nature, the lack of any sensible explanation for the offender’s decision other than financial reward and, to a lesser extent, the offender’s continuing endeavours to minimise their offending.

COVID-19: Offender has been in prison since February 2020 in a Covid setting where there is also isolation flowing from their status as a Foreign National. Offender’s family, friends and acquaintances, who would be visiting them, all live overseas. Offender’s unique custodial conditions cannot be given any sizeable weight. Isolation from family, friends, French speakers and the offender’s culture was an occupational risk the offender was prepared to take on board. Increased prison burdens posed by COVID-19 can be taken into account.

Nature and Circumstances: Offender was a critical and willing player throughout the charged dates. This was a sophisticated scheme with many players and an international flavour, and it was critical to have someone on the ground. Offending concerned a massive quantity of drugs, 163 times the commercial quantity of methylamphetamine. Offender was not the principal or financier of the scheme but was not some low level player. Offender was trusted to do whatever was required and had a vital role. Offending involved very serious, sophisticated, criminal conduct with a high level of premeditation.

Offender sentenced to 18 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 13 years and 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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