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R v Grey (No 3) [2020] ACTSC 43

sentence — organised or facilitated the domestic transportation of a person under the age of 18 intending that they would be used to provide sexual services during or following transportation offence contrary to s 271.7 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code — additional State sex offences — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — factors relevant to the assessment of the objective seriousness of the offence include victim’s age of 17 years, at upper end of age range — no physical force or threats made by offender — offender 49 years old at time of offending — age difference may inform offender’s degree of culpability — substantial age difference means offender has greater authority and maturity, so should exercise greater responsibility — in all 5 jurisdictions visited by offender and victim, conduct was an offence — offender knew victim was child who could not legally provide sexual services, telling victim to not disclose their correct age to clients — offender aware victim vulnerable to their influence, due to age, estranged from their parents, struggling financially and ambition to become a model — offence not planned but took advantage of opportunity, not part of large-scale human trafficking operation — offending continued for 2 months and involved many episodes of transportation across Australia — offender facilitated and personally delivered the transportation, occurring in context of many sexual services provided between episodes of transportation — offender motivated by financial gain — purpose of transportation was victim’s body to be used for sexual intercourse, a very serious “use or display” of their body within definition of “sexual service” — although victim not forced to travel and not financially dependent on the offender, circumstances made victim emotionally reliant on offender such that they felt “trapped” when offender refused to make immediate arrangements for victim to return to Canberra — while lack of consent would be an aggravating feature, victim’s consent to the transportation is not mitigating as person under 18 years is not capable of agreeing to transportation for purpose of providing sexual services — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — “apparent rarity” of offending does not mean limited need for general deterrence — offences of this type may be difficult to detect and prosecute — as with almost any offence involving exploitation of children, general deterrence is an important sentencing consideration — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — sentencing judge accepted plea of guilty was relatively early — sentencing judge found not necessary to decide whether utilitarian value rationale or subjective willingness rationale for guilty plea as in the present case the plea of guilty had significant value, whether viewed objectively or subjectively, such that the two approaches result in the same outcome — 20% discount for guilty plea as it demonstrated a willingness to avoid proceedings that would have been lengthy and unpleasant — antecedents — s 16A(2)(m) — while relevant, subjective features advanced by the offender are not particularly strong — they do not demonstrate any long-standing social disadvantage or psychological problem that mitigates offender’s moral culpability or commands compassion — subjective circumstances provide no explanation for offences — contrition — s 16A(2)(f)(ii) — without qualification, offender accepted responsibility and demonstrated contrition and remorse — sentence — total sentence imposed 11 years’ and 5 months imprisonment with a 6 year and 3 month 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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