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DPP v Abdallah [2019] VCC 1030

sentence — intentionally possess tobacco leaf without licence and permission contrary to s 117C(1) of Excise Act 1901 (Cth), procure another to move tobacco leaf without permission, contrary to s 11.3 of Commonwealth Criminal Code (Cth) and s 117D(1) of Excise Act 1901 (Cth), dishonestly cause a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to s 135.1(5) of Commonwealth Criminal Code (Cth) — offences relate to 1110 kilograms of tobacco leaf — objective seriousness — while maximum penalty for charges 1 and 2 is 2 years’ imprisonment, it is clear offence is viewed as serious given amount of tobacco in possession — charge 3 involved criminal conduct over a period of 11 months following the first 2 charges — offending involved two properties and was organised and well resourced — potential loss of excise to Commonwealth substantial — offending represents serious offending against Commonwealth — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — general deterrence the paramount sentencing consideration — particularly significant sentencing consideration in white collar crime and that good character cannot be given undue significance as a mitigating factor and plays a lesser part in the sentencing process — in taxation offences, general deterrence also given special emphasis in order to protect revenue as such crimes are not particularly easy to detect and if undetected may produce great rewards — “deterrence looms large as present process of self-assessment reposes on the taxpayer a heavy duty of honesty” — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — this principle should carry less weight as minimal prior history not of direct relevance and offender involved in offending in desperate circumstances when offending — low risk of reoffending and sentencing judge views prospects of rehabilitation as very strong — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — while genuine remorse in relation to these types of charges can be an elusive concept, sentencing judge accepted that offender had some insight into offending behaviour — sentence imposed 2 years’ and 6 months imprisonment offender released upon recognisance of $2,000 to be of good behaviour for 4 years
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