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R v El Jamal [2019] NSWDC 153

sentence — attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug offence contrary to ss 11.1 & 307.5(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence related to 3,771.5g pure methamphetamine — under s 16BA one offence of attempting to possess a marketable quantity of the unlawfully imported border controlled drug offence contrary ss 11.1 & 307.6(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code taken into account — offence taken into account under s 16BA related to 643g of cocaine — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — the fact of the plea that must be taken into account, not the state of mind or motivation of offender — guilty plea came early but sentencing proceedings took about 3 days longer — offender gained no advantage from contest; if they had it would have been unfair to deny them the full utilitarian value of their plea — long trial avoided but principal prosecution witness still had to be called and cross-examined — sentencing judge reduced otherwise appropriate sentence by 20% for guilty plea — co-operation — s 16A(2)(h) — encouragement given to those who provide assistance whatever offender’s motive, even self-interest — evidence offender is at some risk in custody and threats have been made to family members — retribution is unlikely, but cannot be entirely discounted — because of offender some dangerous things were able to be seized and this seizure contributed to protection of community — other exhibits reveal nothing that would warrant reduction in sentence, particularly given sentencing judges’ assessment of lack of offender’s credibility — nor is sentencing judge of opinion what was said was full or frank — hardship delay — offender spent whole of remand on most restrictive classification of protection, non-association with limited contact with other prisoners and limited access to work and programmes — delay not offender’s fault — custodial sentence may weigh more heavily on a person with a mental health condition than the theoretical average prisoner — prisons are inherently violent places — antecedents — s 16A(2)(m) — this offence not uncharacteristic aberration — demonstrates continuing disobedience towards the law — sentence — offender sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment with of 9 year and 8 month non-parole period
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