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R v Cerantonio & Ors [2019] VSC 284

sentence — conduct in preparation for engaging in hostile activity offences contrary to s 119.4(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — six offenders — five offenders travelled by car from Victoria to Queensland with intention of travelling by boat to Philippines with purpose of overthrowing Filipino government — one offender remained in Victoria — rationale for sentencing foreign incursion offences — characterisation of purposes for preparatory foreign incursion offences in R v Mohamed [2016] VSC 581 applicable to new provisions of Part 5.5 including s 119.4 — Commonwealth Parliament has criminalised behaviour of engaging in and preparation for engaging in foreign hostilities pursuant to Australia’s international obligations — criminalising preparatory conduct which is ‘breathtakingly stupid’ and certain to fail, within purpose of legislation — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — attempting to overthrow government by force or violence involves high moral culpability — Cerantonio bears much greater moral culpability than other offenders as did ‘all he could’ to confirm, enhance or persuade pre-existing extremist views of other offenders — gravity of offence will be lessened where whole venture ‘poorly planned’, offenders were unlikely to reach the Philippines, no plan for how the government would be overthrown, and no suggestion any offenders would be personally engaged in violence — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — renunciation of extremist views may evidence rehabilitation and contrition — where offender does not give direct evidence in court of renunciation of extremist views, that the offender instructed counsel about details of renunciation ‘knowing that the world at large would be told that these are now his views’ is significant in itself — prospects of rehabilitation will be lowered where offender has long history of ‘extremist thinking’ — delay — delay of about two years and 9 months may amount to mitigating factor where offenders ‘use their time in custody wisely, to assist in their own reform’, and strain of not knowing outcome of case is ‘stressful experience’ — youth — s 16A(2)(m) — one offender aged 21 at time of offence — offender ‘more likely to be more impressionable and more susceptible’ to extremist views of Cerantonio due to being much younger than other offenders — however sentence length not decreased compared to other offenders — sentence — Dacre, Granata and K Kaya sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment with 3 year non-parole period — M Kaya sentenced to 3 years and 8 months’ imprisonment with 2 year 9 month non-parole period — Thorne sentenced to 3 years and 10 months’ imprisonment with 2 year and 10 month non-parole period — Cerantonio sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment with 5 year and 3 month non-parole period
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