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 Chia v The Queen [2018] WASCA 103

leave to appeal against sentence — dishonestly appropriating property from a Commonwealth entity offence contrary to s 131.1(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — two further offences taken into account pursuant to s 16BA of Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) being one count of forgery offence contrary to s 144.1(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code and one count of using forged document offence contrary to s 145.1(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — original sentence imposed 1 year and 6 months’ imprisonment with 2 year recognisance release order after 9 months — manifest excess — to establish manifest excess necessary for offender to demonstrate that sentence was unreasonable or plainly unjust — orthodox approach to an allegation of manifest excess is to examine sentence imposed, having regard to maximum penalty, standards of sentencing customarily imposed with respect to that offence, place that the criminal conduct occupies on the scale of seriousness of offences of that kind and personal circumstances of the offender — objective seriousness — offence committed was, as sentencing judge said, serious — offender was aware of grandmother’s death and aware that entitlement she had to receive an age pension ceased upon her death — offender repeatedly appropriated grandmother’s aged pension over period of 3 ½ years — transfers totalled $56,439.60 — considerable criminality further aggravated by false information offender gave to Centrelink to effect that offender was living from savings and received no income from any other source — furthermore offender forged a life certificate and sent it to Centrelink — mental condition — s 16A(2)(m) — sentencing judge accepted that offender suffered from major depressive illness which was to some extent causative of offending and reduced to some extent weight given to general and specific deterrence — none of expert reports stated that offender’s ability to know what offender was doing was wrong was affected — while effect of general and specific deterrence was moderated, both remained relevant and significant sentencing factors — antecedents — s 16A(2)(m) — while offender was a person of prior good character, good character carries less weight having regard to extended period over which offences committed — sentence imposed was of severity appropriate in all circumstances — sentence not unreasonable or plainly unjust — ground of appeal relied upon by offender no reasonable prospect of succeeding — leave to appeal 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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