Site Logo

R v Baker [2019] ACTSC 316

sentence — obtaining financial advantage by deception from Department of Human Services offence contrary to s 134.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence relates to $83,721.64 — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — offending conduct ongoing for almost 5 years with around 50 false statements, offender received more than 3 times the amount to which they were actually entitled — no suggestion offender spent money on lavish lifestyle, as her motive was to meet daily financial needs including rent payment — offence was unsophisticated and did not involve features such as receipt of multiple benefits or use of false identities or bank accounts — assessed to be at low risk of general re-offending — offender has stable accommodation and enjoys supportive relationships — offender’s criminogenic risks relate to her health and poor decision-making in the past — offence was of substantial objective seriousness, although it was also quite unsophisticated — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — when sentencing for social security fraud, key sentencing consideration is general deterrence — offences of this kind are easy to commit and the Department and the general public depends upon recipients of benefits being trustworthy and honest in their dealings with the Commonwealth — several appellate courts have indicated that in cases of deliberate and sustained fraud a sentence of imprisonment is ordinarily required because it is unlikely that mitigating factors will outweigh importance of general deterrence — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — contrition — s 16A(2)(f)(ii) — reparation — s 16A(2)(f)(i) — offender entered early plea of guilty, indicating contrition — for Commonwealth offences, an offender who pleads guilty is entitled to a discount on sentence if plea is evidence of their remorse, acceptance of responsibility, and willingness to facilitate justice — offender has repaid $6,446.65 to the Department, the Department has withheld part of offender’s fortnightly benefits — repayment has not occurred through any significant sacrifice by offender — most of overpayment remains outstanding — sentence — 2 years’ imprisonment imposed to be served by way of intensive correction order — reparation order pursuant to s 21B of the Crimes Act that sum of $77,382 be paid to the Department
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.

© 2024 The National Judicial College of Australia (NJCA). Powered by

Privacy Policy|Terms and Conditions