Site Logo

Ghazzawy v The Queen [2021] NSWCCA 70

The offender was convicted following a plea of guilty to intentionally making a document connected with the preparation of a terrorist act contrary to section 101.5(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Original sentence imposed 8 years and 6 months imprisonment with a 6 year and 4 month non-parole period. The offender appealed on grounds that the sentencing judge erred by failing to regard the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty and erred in backdating the commencement of the offender’s sentence to 15 December 2015.

Guilty Plea: Sentence was handed down prior to decision in Xiao. Sentencing judge expressly failed to take into account the offender’s entitlement to a discount for the utilitarian value of their plea of guilty. In relation to utilitarian value of plea, regard can only be had to objective benefits which have been brought about by the plea. Plea was at an early point in time, although not at the earliest point. Plea saved community the cost of a substantial trial. Negotiations had been taking place for considerable period of time. Discount of 17.5% should be applied to the sentence.

Rehabilitation: There have been some rather shallow improvements in the offender’s demeanour and beliefs since being in custody. There has not been any significant change in the offender’s beliefs. Matters of concern to the sentencing judge continue to be matters of concern i.e. the perception that Islam was under attack and a sense of grievance which continues to affect and influence offender.

Leave to appeal granted. Appeal granted. Sentence quashed and offender sentenced to 8 years imprisonment with 6 year 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.

© 2023 The National Judicial College of Australia (NJCA). Powered by

Privacy Policy|Terms and Conditions