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Nipoe v The Queen [2020] VSCA 137

appeal against sentence — attempt to possess a marketable quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug offence contrary to s 11.1(1) and s 307.6(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug offence contrary to s 11.1(1) and s 307.5(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code — offences relate to 544.6g of pure methamphetamine and 8.634kg of pure methamphetamine respectively — original sentence imposed 15 years imprisonment with an 11 year non-parole period — parity — sentencing judge erred in that a s 6AAA declaration is not a relevant consideration for the fixing of a sentence relating to a co-accused; taking it into account in that way is an error of principle and would be sufficient to vitiate the sentence — not persuaded any different sentence should be imposed on charge 1 — charge 1 very serious instance of marketable quantity offence, involving as it did almost three quarters of commercial quantity of methamphetamine — other things being equal, the greater the quantity imported (or possessed) the more serious the offence — offender pleaded not guilty and had little to call in aid by way of mitigation — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — in sentencing for offences of this kind, general deterrence assumes prominence: it is necessary to deter those who might be tempted by the enormous rewards flowing form illicit trade in illegal drugs — giving paramount consideration to general deterrence and denunciation may legitimately result in less weight being given to factors personal to offender — those matters in mitigation should never fall from sight but they must be balanced against serious nature of offence — the individual sentences were far from manifestly excessive — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — although method of importation relatively straight forward through the post, it plainly involved planning and investment — deployment of counter-surveillance techniques further demonstrates that this was a considered and organised undertaking — very significant factor that offender committed second offence, involving much greater quantity of drugs, while they were on bail for the first offence — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — judge unable to make any findings as to rehabilitation — manifest excess — separate criminality involved in each offence meant that high degree of cumulation was called for — examination of sentences imposed in other cases which having regard to quantity of drugs involved may be considered comparable, suggests that the individual sentences are lenient and total effective sentence is consonant with current sentencing practice — unable to accept submission that total effective term of imprisonment of 15 years for overall level of criminality involved is out of step with sentencing practices for this type of offending across the Commonwealth — appeal dismissed
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