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R v AA [2021] NSWDC 112

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty of 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offence relates to 24.6 litres of gamma-butyrolactone. Offender was sentenced for additional State offences. Additional offences were taken into account under s 16AB.  

Nature and Circumstances: Offender imported well in excess of the minimum commercial quantity. Value of the drug imported is believed to be approximately $200 which is a relatively modest amount in comparison to value of commercial quantities of other illicit substances. Offending occurred whilst offender was on a bond, the financial reward was small, there was no evidence of a lavish lifestyle and offending was relatively unsophisticated. Objective gravity lies somewhere between low and mid-range of objective seriousness.  

Cooperation: Offender provided assistance to law enforcement. Assistance was deemed to be truthful, reliable and timely. Offender has provided and is committed to continue providing very valuable assistance. 20% discount allowed for past assistance and 5% discount for assistance in the future.  

Specific Deterrence: Whilst offender has been incarcerated they have suffered relative isolation and significant withdrawal effects from drug use, and has been the subject of two incidents of assault. Offender’s conduct cannot be explained as momentary or impulsive lapse in judgment. Offender is still relatively young which militates in favour of rehabilitation.  

Mental Condition: Offender had ten-year period of problematic substance abuse. Offender’s abuse of both substance is to be linked to offender’s feelings of low self-worth and emotional disfunction arising from offender’s violent upbringing. Disadvantaged background can be taken into account to reduce moral culpability, and is linked to offender’s addiction. Offender grew up in very violent household which they left as a teenager. Offender appears to have untreated, undiagnosed mental health issues. The effect of the offender’s disadvantage do not diminish with the passage of time and should be given full weight in the sentencing exercise. This is not to say that the offender bears no moral culpability.  

Offender sentenced to 3 years imprisonment with an 18 month 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.

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