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R v Alameddine [No 3] [2018] NSWSC 681

sentence — intentional possession of a thing connected with preparation for a terrorist act and recklessness as to the connection of the thing to the preparation for a terrorist act offence contrary to s.101.4(2) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — state offence — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — objective seriousness — high degree of criminality, objectively very serious and strong element of moral culpability — offender’s motive and his knowledge or belief as to use to be made of revolver bear upon objective gravity — if at least sympathetic to extremist views supportive of Islamic State, then this aspect would elevate objective gravity — offender had good idea firearm to be used for terrorist attack committed in name of Islamic State — objective gravity to be determined primarily by assessing nature of thing possessed, nature of possession and its connection with preparation of planning, nature and seriousness of proposed terrorist act, and recklessness of offender — offending more serious closer connection is between the thing and preparation and planning — thing was a loaded revolver capable of immediate use in commission of terrorist act — involvement occupied a period of about 24 hours only — urgency surrounding supply operated to place offender on greater notice of imminent terrorist attack so recklessness more serious — covert nature of meetings, use of counter-surveillance techniques and change in appearance added to objective gravity — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — by definition of offence, plea of guilty admits recklessness but not intention or knowledge as to use to which revolver was to be put for terrorist purpose — discussions commenced with respect to pleas in context of committal proceedings early May 2017, not until July 2017 offer made by offender to plead guilty to present charges with offer accepted by Crown in August 2017 — value of pleas in this case not commensurate with pleas entered in Local Court — appropriate discount for utilitarian value of plea 15% — contrition — s 16A(2)(g) — offender did not give evidence at sentencing hearing — offender committed offences whilst subject to state firearms prohibition order, committed further firearm offences soon after, offences of failure to answer questions before NSW Crimes Commission, disciplinary offences while in custody — guilty plea in face of strong Crown case gives no assistance — statements made by offender to third parties cannot be tested in absence of offender giving evidence — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — general deterrence is a very important factor to take into account on sentence for a terrorist offence — high degree of general deterrence is to be reflected on sentence — adequacy of punishment — s 16A(2)(k) — one of characteristics distinguishing terrorism from other crimes involving violence is that object is use of violence as instrument of coercion or intimidation — age — s 16A(2)(m) — 22 years old at time of offences — limited weight in light of seriousness of offences and absence of any causal link between offender’s age and criminal conduct — offender sentenced to 7 years’ and 2 months imprisonment with 5 year and 3 month non-parole period, total effective sentence 17 years’ and 8 months imprisonment with 13 year and 6 month non-parole period
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