Site Logo

Huggett v The Queen [2021] NSWCCA 62

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty of one count of using a carriage service to access child pornography contrary to s 474.19(1)(a)(i) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The original sentence imposed 3 years and 10 months imprisonment with a 2 year and 6 month non-parole period. Offender was sentenced for additional State offences. The offender appealed on the basis that the sentencing judge erred in failing to give effect to offender’s co-operation with authorities and the sentence was manifestly excessive.  

Co-operation: Offender volunteered to police that further child abuse material was to be found on their laptop computer. Assessment of subjective circumstances, including assistance to authorities and issue of contrition and remorse, was complicated in this case by offender’s protracted attempts to blame ex-partner for offences and to advance, but not press, application for leave to withdraw pleas. Despite initial assistance to investigating police, including volunteering that the laptop computer contained child abuse material, offender thereafter for a period of years fluctuated and vacillated in the Courts. It is reasonable to approach the issue upon the basis that there was likely to be further investigation by police including, if necessary, the execution of a search warrant to determine whether child abuse material was contained on any other electronic device. This is the common if not invariable scenario emerging in police investigations of child abuse material offences. Any assistance provided by offender concerning presence of child abuse material on laptop did not advance position for purpose of s 16A(2)(j) Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).  

Cumulative and Concurrent Sentences: The maximum penalty for the Commonwealth offence was imprisonment for 15 years. The sentence of 3 years and 4 months with a non-parole period of two years was not manifestly excessive. There was partial accumulation related solely to the State offences. One of the State offences involved the same 88 images as the s 474.19(1) offence however different criminality was involved in the Commonwealth offence. The total effective sentence paid due regard to different criminality involved in the three offences together with areas of overlap which bore upon issues of concurrency, accumulation and totality.

Leave to appeal granted. Appeal dismissed.
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