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DPP v Murphy [2020] VCC 1570

sentence — using carriage service to groom person under 16 years of age contrary to s 474.27(1) Commonwealth Criminal Code general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — general deterrence is paramount and immediate term of imprisonment is ordinarily warranted — clear public interest given this kind of offending can be difficult to detect and appears to be prevalent — children must be protected from conduct that would otherwise inappropriately sexualise them at age where they may be ill-equipped to protect themselves or respond either appropriately or in own interests — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — offender was well aware of victim’s stated age — conduct no less reprehensible because apparent victim was lure for blackmail — somewhat unusual circumstance for offence — it makes it no less serious — conduct appears predatory in terms of request to meet and arrangements to do so and communications were of relatively high frequency in two month period in which they were conducted — communication with apparent victim involved graphic and explicit content — offender desisted only when they believed they were victim of blackmail threat not realising this would then lead to police investigating offender’s illicit activity — physical condition — s 16A(2)(m) — offender suffered at young age — offender was victim of physical assault in 2017 further deteriorating level of functioning — mental condition — s 16A(2)(m) — offender’s cognitive function within mildly intellectual disability range — offenders ability to maintain degree of independent function is largely consequence of familiarity with environment — report found central factor to offending appeared opportunistic and reactive as opposed to being considered or organised — cognitive profile allows offender to appreciate right from wrong at simplistic level and capacity to make informed decisions which are truly reasoned are described as basic — offender lacks ability to fully appreciate consequences for actions on others and cannot be readily criticised for lack of victim empathy or insight — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — psychologist report raised concerns about prospects of rehabilitation — offender recommended for referral to intensive sex offender treatment program — psychologist concerned offender presents with high risk of reoffending which may be mediated by involvement or focus in alternative activities or employment — there has been both sanction and deterrence from court process — hardship to offender — offender will respond well to structure and predictability but due to poor non-verbal reasoning and likelihood of responding inappropriately offender likely will be irritating to others placing them at risk — cognitive deficits would make offender vulnerable to exploitation or manipulation and likely to experience heightened degree of psychological distress — all limbs of Verdins are engaged — delay — court processes whilst natural have meant that matter has been hanging over head for 3 years and assessment would indicate offender is particularly vulnerable to stressors — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — while remorse is less apparent factor carries less weight in terms of assessment of low cognitive functioning — sentence — report indicates concern about ability to comply with CCO due to barriers in terms of physical health and intellectual function — offender sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment to be served by recognisance release order — s 6AAA — if not for plea of guilty offender would have been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment with 10 months imprisonment prior to release on recognisance release order    
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