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R v McKeay [2020] NSWDC 408

sentence — using carriage service to procure persons under 16 years for sexual activity contrary to s 474.26(1) Commonwealth Criminal Code — additional state offence — nature and circumstances — s 16A(2)(a) — offender communicated with victim over two week period — offender knew victim was 14 years old — offender initiated offending by posting advertisement offering monetary reward for sexual activity — messages were sexually explicit — there was no attempt by offender to disguise intention — while presence of actual victim may aggravate offending absence of victim will not mitigate it — objective seriousness of offending at low end of range — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — offender pleaded guilty to both federal and state counts on indictment — offender pleaded guilty at earliest opportunity and is entitled to discount for utilitarian value of plea — discount of 25% assigned — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — general deterrence and denunciation of paramount importance in sentencing for these types of offences and must reflect public interest in protecting children from sexual exploitation — courts must also bear in mind that offending involving grooming and procuring of children has become increasingly relevant with advent of internet — sentence to be imposed must make clear to other like-minded persons that these types of offences are abhorrent and will be met with punishment of severity reflecting community’s attitude to exploitation of children — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — offender is at low risk of reoffending according to report — there is objective evidence of self-harming and offender’s mother corroborated some of offender’s history — it is likely that offender has significant undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues — personal deterrence has some albeit limited role to play — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — motivation to commit offences arises from some degree of sexual deviance so successful rehabilitation depends on extent to which offender recognises disorder and has taken steps to overcome it — person who has sought and is undergoing treatment and evinces intention to continue with treatment is usually viewed by courts as having greater prospects of rehabilitation — offender has reasonable prospects of rehabilitation particularly if they engage in treatment plan — character — s 16A(2)(m) — offender entitled to some leniency on account of prior good behaviour and lack of prior criminal history but less weight is to be accorded in offending of this kind — offender sentenced to 2 years’ and 3 months imprisonment with 1 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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