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DPP v Morey [2020] VCC 320

sentence — 4 counts of using a carriage service to transmit indecent communication to a person under 16 offence, 1 count of using a carriage service for child exploitation materials offence and 1 count of using a carriage service to procure persons under 16 offence contrary to s 474.26(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — additional state and summary charges — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — offending overall objectively very serious, engaged in serious predatory sexual behaviour — targeted multiple victims, young teen girls between 13 and 15 years old, while offending did not result in physical contact nevertheless serious instances of those types of offences — messaging suggested sexual activity, communicated in deeply explicit, pornographic and objectifying manner, made implicit and explicit offers of money in exchange for sexual communication and photos — used multiple accounts to bombard young girls — offending must be seen in context of harassment of witnesses and breach of bail conditions, not to add to seriousness of offending, but offending must be seen as whole to measure objective seriousness — difficult and sometimes unhelpful to simply put label on offending whether “high”, “mid-level” or “low level” as sentencing judge acutely aware of sensitivities of young women who were targets of offending and that such labels may lead to misunderstanding for simple use of single word of shorthand —  age — s 16A(2)(m) — rehabilitation — offender 20 years old at time of offending and 21 years old at time of sentence — offender still young and has a strong, prosocial supportive network available to assist in offender’s rehabilitation and reintegration back into society upon release from prison — hardship to the offender — sentencing judge took into account fact that offender will receive no visits at least for the time being due to COVID-19 — also taken into account that COVID-19 will play on offender’s mind the fact that family and loved ones are isolated from offender and offender faces prospect, as all people in Australia and indeed global community do now, of worrying about health, wellbeing and future of those who may be affected by the virus — should play some part in mitigating sentence — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — early guilty plea has utilitarian benefit as saved number of vulnerable witnesses of tender age being called to give evidence and be cross-examined — remorse and insight only been recently developed — references from mother, grandparents and aunt speak to offender beginning to develop insight and that offender has exhibited remorse, and that plea of guilty facilitates course of justice — sentence — imposed 4 years’ imprisonment with a 2 year and 2 month non-parole period — offender eligible for parole after 2 years to be released on recognisance release order — 6AAA — but for plea of guilty, would have sentenced offender to 5 years’ and 3 months imprisonment with a 3 year and 3 month non-parole period
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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