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DPP v Trento [2022] VCC 98

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of dealing with money, being less than $100,000, reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of crime contrary to s 400.9(1A) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of dealing with money, being $100,000 or more, reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime contrary to s 400.9(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Although the offender was not the instigator of the arrangement, their role in the conversion of a considerable amount of cash, $164,276, to gold bullion was critical. Offending involved a degree of planning in attending separate businesses and structuring the bullion into 2 separate transactions to reduce suspicion. Offending was neither sophisticated nor sustained but is inherently serious. Offender’s moral culpability is significant.

Delay: It is now over 4 years since the offending in November 2017. Offender indicated an intention to plead guilty on 24 June 2021, but their plea was not listed until 1 February 2022. Delay has been a source of additional punishment and demonstrates offender’s progress towards rehabilitation. Following a tragic accident in October 2020, offender has been abstinent from drug use since September 2021 and their substance abuse disorder has been in remission since December 2021.

Age: Although undoubtedly serious offending, offender’s youth at the time of offending reduces the need for general deterrence. Offender’s lack of sophistication in their offending spoke of a degree of naivety.

Mental Condition: Offender has post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. Offender proactively self-referred for counselling following the accident and has demonstrated an ability to engage with psychological treatment. To an extent, offender’s anxiety and depression is reactive to their current legal circumstances, unassisted by the delay.

Offender sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, to be released immediately upon entering a recognisance of a good behaviour bond for 2 years.
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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