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DPP v Munn [2021] VCC 1038

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 2 counts of using a carriage service with the intention of procuring a sexual act with a person believed to be under 16 years of age.  

Antecedents: Offender had lifetime obligations under the Sex Offender Registration Act. Offender previously imprisoned for variety of serious sexual offences against a child as well as a charge of possession of child pornography. Past offences trigger mandatory sentencing provisions.  

Contrition: It is troubling that offender has reoffended in this way. Offender is relatively insightless and still to some degree downplaying offending. The case against the offender was overwhelming. The strength of the case does impact upon the inferences that might be drawn from the fact of the guilty plea. Offender is not revelling in the offending. Offender is a work in progress and not resistant to exploring why they offended in this way.  

Rehabilitation: Offender has not been deterred by being sent to prison previously. Offender was already well and truly over the brink when they chose to communicate in this way with the intention they had. It is possible that pharmacological treatment may reduce risk but it is too early to know if that is something open in the future or an option which they will avail themselves of.  

COVID-19: The impact of the virus upon prisoners has been lessening in the course of this year, with visits and courses getting back underway earlier this year. Whilst generally the community has been travelling well, it is not that difficult to see how restrictions may spring up again as they have in the past. There will be some ongoing anxiety amongst prisoners. It has not been easy for the offender in such a setting.  

Mandatory Sentences: There is a mandatory minimum period specified.  Reduction for a guilty plea is capped at 25% and is discretionary. All of the case law dealing with legislation setting out statutory minimum period makes it clear that thought he mandatory provisions modify some of the principles of sentencing they in no way oust the matters that a court must have regard to in assessing the seriousness of the offence. Court was not prepared to engage in two step sentencing in the absence of a very direct statement from the Legislature in the body of the Act itself.  

Offender sentenced to 6 years imprisonment with a 4-year 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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