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DPP v Nguyen [2020] VCC 639

sentence — importing commercial quantity of border controlled substance offence contrary to s 301.11(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence relates to 8.27kg of pure pseudoephedrine — character — s 16A(2)(m) — offender under pressure financially — offender has no criminal history and no matters pending in court — sentencing judge took this into account as indication of offender’s good character and also took into account references all of which speak of offender’s honesty in dealing with family and friends and care and attention to their family — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — no evidence offender to receive financial reward commensurate with potential earnings from sale of substance, offender admitted they were to receive payment for importation of it — no evidence of larger organisation of which offender were a part or acting alone — amount of drug carried was significant, placing offending clearly above that of low level — engaged in conduct in order to receive financial benefit and whilst motive for doing so was financial concerns, this does not mitigate offending or moral culpability — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — indicated willingness to plead guilty at first reasonable opportunity — plea warrants significant mitigation of sentence both because of utilitarian benefits flowing from it and indication of remorse — sentencing judge accepted offender is remorseful, and that the shame and sorrow offending feels for putting themselves and their family in this position will act as a deterrent upon offender from committing further offences in the future — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — whilst it is of concern that debt led offender to offend will still burden offender upon release, sentencing judge accepted that offender’s remorse, sense of shame, prior good character, and controlling effect of offender’s family upon offender in the future and the deterrence effect of offender having been caught and gaoled for this offender are all powerful factors affecting your future conduct — taking those matters into account, sentencing judge considered that offender’s prospects of rehabilitation are very good — COVID-19 — concerns for family are heightened by COVID-19 issues, particularly in view of daughter’s asthma and father’s diabetes — sentencing judge accepted these matters way upon offender and concerns make imprisonment more burdensome than if these issues were not in existence, taken into account — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — specific deterrence is relevant in offender’s circumstances as financial pressure that led offender to offend will not have ceased — sentence also intended to act as deterrent to others who may consider such offender, which is an important consideration in relation to offending of this nature — this sentence will also punish offender for offending — sentence — 6 years’ imprisonment with a 4 year non-parole period
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