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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    
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