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DPP v Perre [2021] VCC 928

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of possessing a controlled drug contrary to section 308.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offence related to 14.5 grams of pure methamphetamine. Further offence taken into account under s 16BA.

Contrition: Offender was co-operative with AFP members who searched their home. While offender is undoubtedly regretful for the situation and the effect this has had, and will continue to have on them, there is insufficient evidence to make finding of true contrition and remorse for offending conduct beyond what is evident from the guilty plea itself.

Delay: It is three years and four months since the offender was arrested and charged, which is a mitigating circumstance. There will always be some delay in prosecuting cases of this kind but here there has been more than the usual delay which was mostly beyond offender’s control. The prospect of a sentence of imprisonment hanging over the offender’s head during the period of delay would have caused significant stress and anxiety akin to punishment in itself. The offender was also subject to fairly onerous bail conditions during this period including daily reporting, a curfew and restrictions on their mobile phone and internet use.

COVID-19: Offender is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 if incarcerated. The inherent utilitarian value of a guilty plea is greater during the pandemic. The pandemic is causing additional stress for the offender and their family. Visits, work and educational opportunities could be impacted by cases of COVID-19.

Offender sentenced to pay a fine of $2000 to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
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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