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Estevez v The Queen [2020] NSWCCA 184

appeal against sentence — importing commercial quantity of border controlled drug contrary to s 307.1(1) Commonwealth Criminal Code — original sentence imposed 9 years’ imprisonment with 6 year non-parole period — offence related to 2.3593kg of cocaine — nature and circumstances — s 16A(2)(a) — at time of offending offender was drug user and had accumulated debt to drug dealer and agreed to import cocaine to clear drug debt — offender was planning importation for at least three weeks and communications gave impression that offender was willing participant not just last-minute recruit as mere courier — offender made conscious decision to engage in conduct and was sufficiently well trusted to be in possession of valuable commodity — offender was found to be courier but not mere courier with no prior knowledge or specific knowledge — offence was slightly below midrange in terms of objective seriousness and in bottom half of range as quantity was not particularly high — contrition — s 16A(2)(f)— offender feels genuine remorse and contrition and has shown some insight into seriousness of offending particularly feelings of regret for impact offending has had on grandparents who can no longer be financially supported — mental condition — s 16A(2)(m) — offender showed some symptoms of PTSD — there was some connection between offending and PTSD — connection was not of type which had any impact on appropriate length of sentence that ought to be imposed — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — sentence was imposed before decision in Xiao v R — offender pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity — discount of 25% should be allowed for early plea of guilty — cooperation — s 16A(2)(h) — value of assistance provided to authorities is to be characterised as low and does not include future assistance — total combined discount for plea of guilty and assistance should be 33.33% — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — offender is likely to have stopped using drugs while in custody — offender has used time in custody to work and to participate in courses available and insight into offending has increased — prospects of rehabilitation are likely to have improved — leave to appeal granted — appeal allowed — sentence quashed — offender sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment with 4 year and 8 month 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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