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CDPP v Whitworth & Jafari [2023] VCC 583

The offenders were sentenced following a plea of guilty to one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug in joint commission contrary to ss 307.1(1) and 11.2A(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offending related to 6,573.2 grams of pure methamphetamine.

Nature and Circumstances: Offenders imported 8.76 times the commercial quantity of methamphetamine. This is a significant example of what is a very serious offence. Each co-offender agreed with the principal to play the role of couriers. Although they were not the masterminds of the operation, offenders played a vital role in the importation. Without their willing involvement, the importation could not have occurred. Whitworth had been helped financially by the third co-offender in the past. There is no doubt that the third co-offender took advantage of Whitworth’s vulnerability.

Cooperation: The authorities were clearly assisted in investigating and prosecuting this case by the co-operation of Jafari. Whitworth was considerably less cooperative, although this was due to their fear of the consequences of telling police all they knew including that to their family in England.

Mental Condition: Forensic psychologist diagnosed Whitworth with a probable diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Imprisonment will likely weigh more heavily on the first offender than a person without their conditions and they will be vulnerable in custody. This enlivens limb 5 of the Verdins principles.

Hardship: Whitworth’s imprisonment would have a significant effect on their wife and infant child. Jafari has lived apart from their wife for a number of years and further separation will not have the impact that it will likely have on Whitworth.

Whitworth sentenced to 9 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years. Jafari sentenced to 9 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 5 years and 4 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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