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DPP v El-Haouli [2018] VCC 2172

sentence — two counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity offences contrary to s 134.2(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offences relate to $86,317.27 obtained through intentional omissions and false Centrelink declarations over a period of 2 years and 6 months, and 14 months respectively — reparation — s 16A(2)(f)(i) — sentencing judge taken fact that offender consented to making of reparation order into account in offender’s favour — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — sentencing judge prepared to accept offender in emotionally stressful situation during period of offending — large family which included two children with special needs — harsh not to recognise offender’s offending occurred in context during period of emotional challenge and stress — prepared to accept that it played some role in offending which would otherwise not be easily explained for mature aged first time offender — sentencing judge did not accept offender felt under financial stress given what offender and partner were earning — not case of true need or true greed — very unusual and nuanced context to this offending — sentencing judge prepared to give some weight to emotionally stressful context of offending, otherwise an appreciably more severe sentence would have been imposed — objective seriousness — offending not a victimless crime — puts at risk government’s ability to assist members of community who are in genuine financial need — given periods and amounts involve, each offence is relatively serious — important that offender voluntarily brought an end to offending, not a situation where offending only curtailed by detection — sentence imposed 15 months’ imprisonment with offender to be released on recognisance release after 5 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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