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R v Chie [2020] NSWDC 5

sentence — attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug offence contrary to s 307.5(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence related to 15.4 kilograms of pure cocaine — 3 additional state offences — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — accepted there should be some reduction in otherwise appropriate sentences to reflect utilitarian and any other value of the guilty pleas ultimately entered by offender — while technically guilty plea entered soon after current attempt to possess charge was put before court this was not an early guilty plea — guilty plea came after matter listed for trial but soon after it came to this court — fact of guilty plea must be taken into account, not the state of mind or motivation of offender entering the plea — 15% reduction for utilitarian value — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — parity — problems can emerge in attempting to categorise role of offender in drug enterprise, as in many cases as here the full nature and extent of enterprise unlikely to be known to the Court — general propositions that guide assessments of objective seriousness relevant here include steps taken by offender to access what they believed had been imported, size of importation reflected offender’s awareness a warehouse was required and 2 containers involved, inference offender would receive reward commensurate with risk they took, no evidence motivation was other than for profit, efforts offender made to avoid detection, awareness as a drug user and supplier of the social consequences that follow from distribution of drug they sought to gain possession of — while act of attempted possession can be attended by wide range of moral culpability, here offender’s involvement in overall transaction and degree of involvement in enterprise places them below co-offender and overseas associates but cannot put offender in the day labourer category urged on sentencing judge by the defence —  sentence imposed 11 years’ and 5 months imprisonment with a 7 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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