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Green (a pseudonym) v The Queen [2020] NSWCCA 358

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of engaging in banking transactions relating to money or other property over $100,000 that is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime offence contrary to s 400.9 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug offence contrary to ss 307.1(1) and 311.4 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offence relates to 12.0116 kilograms of pure methamphetamine. Additional offence of possessed money over $100,000 reasonably suspected to be proceeds of a crime offence contrary to s 400.9(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code taken into account per s 16BA. Original sentence imposed 10 years’ imprisonment with a 6 year non-parole period. The offender appealed on the basis that the sentencing judge did not have regard to the utilitarian value of the offender’s plea of guilty.

Guilty Plea: Reasons for sentence were given at time prior to Xiao v The Queen being determined. Sentencing judge allowed no discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty. The utilitarian value of the plea was high and a discount of 25% should be applied to sentence in the ordinary course. The sentencing judge accepted that the offender’s level of assistance was significant and that the offender was deeply concerned about his safety. Sentencing judge applied a combined discount of 50%. Appeal judge held a discount of greater than 50% should not be given for the offender’s plea and their past and future assistance to authorities, notwithstanding that a discount of 25% is warranted for the utilitarian value of the plea and the level of assistance provided was significant. The circumstances of the case are not exceptional so as to warrant a greater discount. Nor would such a discount accord with the principles of sentencing, having regard to the objective seriousness of the drug offences in this case. The sentence imposed is warranted. Leave to appeal granted. Appeal dismissed.
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