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DPP v Marshman [2021] VCC 749

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to a person believed to be under 16 years of age contrary to s 474.27A(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.  

Nature and Circumstances: Offending only occurred over a two-day period. Offender was determined in that they kept attempting to communicate with victim. Offending was not as serious in terms of exchange of indecent material as some other cases that come before the court. Offender was effectively over double the age of the victim. Offender had no prior relationship with victim, so was effectively picking up people on the internet at this site. Offending is in the lower scale of seriousness but is still a serious offence.  

Mental Condition: Offender was referred for a mental health plan in 2017 and placed on an antidepressant in 2020. Offender’s counsel put that offender was immature. That is probably true but at the time of offending they were 29, so they have got to take responsibility for their conduct.  

Adequacy of Punishment: Imprisonment has got to be a sanction of last resort. That has even got greater salience in the COVID environment where programs are less available in prisons and so prison is a more onerous sentence than it may have been 18 months ago. Sentence of imprisonment will not be imposed, but in sentencing, general deterrence is a very important factor. This is regardless of the fact that the offender had no prior convictions and was of prior good character.  

Offender sentenced to 18 month recognizance release order.
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