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R v Alou (No. 4) [2018] NSWSC 221

sentence — aiding and abetting commission of terrorist act offence contrary to ss 11.2(1) and 101.(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — first time offence of aiding and abetting terrorist act or offence of committing terrorist act has come before sentencing court in Australia — nature and circumstances of offence — s 16A(2)(a) — objective seriousness — not universal that culpability of aider less than principal offender — offender was active planner and participant in offence — principal offender could not have committed terrorist act unless equipped by offender and encouraged to do so — moral culpability of offender close to principal offender — offence extremely serious — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — offender offered no apology to victim’s family — offender’s response devoid of basic humanity — sentencing judge referred to psychologist’s report which found that offender equated “re-evaluating his actions as renouncing his spiritual beliefs” this remained “barrier to rehabilitation and remorse” — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — offender not taken part in voluntary deradicalisation program — clear that offender remains dangerous to community given views and willingness to act on them — prospects of rehabilitation grim — offender’s refusal to stand at commencement and conclusion of court sessions relevant — issue whether offender prepared to take step expected of all members of community as acceptance of law applying in democratic society — Explanatory Note on the Judicial Process and Participation of Muslims prepared by Australian National Imams Council states that there is no prohibition or restraint on Muslim standing as sign of respect — offender’s approach based on unspecified beliefs — offender has entrenched approach which extends to attitude towards courts — mindset of that type does not assist offender with prospect of rehabilitation — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — offenders plea of guilty not indicator of contrition — plea not evidence of move away from radicalised beliefs — discount purely utilitarian — discount of 15% applied — victim impact statements — family of victim read statement to court — during statement offender sat coldly without emotion or sign of ordinary human feelings — response of offender demonstration of lack of contrition and grim prospect of rehabilitation — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — refusal to resile from extremist beliefs requires strong element of specific deterrence — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — strong element of general deterrence in sentencing for terrorist offences — general deterrence more important where offence caused death and harm to community — critical that courts send message that such conduct will be met by severe punishment — antecedents — s 16A(2)(m) — youth given less weight due to seriousness and absence of causal link between age and criminal conduct — continuing detention scheme — continuing detention scheme operates for high risk terrorist offenders — offender warned as to existence and operation of s 105A.23 of Commonwealth Criminal Code — existence of scheme not taken into account in determining appropriate sentence — offender sentenced to 44 years’ imprisonment with 33 year 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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