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Lami v The Queen [2021] NSWCCA 295

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of dealing with money or property that was proceeds of crime, being reckless as to the fact that it was proceeds of crime, where the value of the property was $1,000,000 or more contrary to s 400.3(2) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The original sentence imposed was 4 years imprisonment with a 2 year non-parole period. The offender appealed on the basis that the sentencing judge failed to give appropriate weight to mitigating circumstances and erred in assessing objective seriousness by giving undue and overwhelming weight to general deterrence.  

Nature and Circumstances: Determination of whether appropriate weight was given to various matters relied on as impacting the objective seriousness of the offence can only be determined by an assessment of whether the sentencing judge’s assessment of objective seriousness as below the middle of the range was outside the legitimate range of the sentencing judge’s discretion. The offender was involved over a relatively short time and performed a role in which they were less culpable than co-offenders. Offender acted at the direction of others, did not have uncontrolled access to the funds, and was signatory to the accounts, exposed to the highest risk of detection. Offender believed they were dealing with $1.2 million. In dealing with the money in the circumstances in which they did, the amount of money involved could not have been hidden from the offender. While the sentence was stern, it was not outside the legitimate bounds of the sentencing judge’s discretion.  

General Deterrence: General deterrence does not inform the determination of objective gravity. To the extent that this ground of appeal seeks to agitate the weight given to general deterrence, the observations made in the context of ground 1 as to the difficulty in succeeding based on assertion of too much or too little weight being given to a particular consideration apply.  

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.

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