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R v Meksavanh [2022] NSWDC 374

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of aiding and abetting in an attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to ss 11.1(1), 307.5(10 and 11.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offending related to 288.44kg of pure methamphetamine.

Nature and Circumstances: Offending took place over a period of about 4 weeks. Offender played an intermediary role acting on instructions. Offender recruited others and acted dishonestly to distance themselves from some transactions. Offender acted for financial gain, but their remuneration was small by comparison to the potential yield of the drugs. Offender is relatively low in the hierarchy. Quantity of the drugs was large, being 385 times the commercial quantity. Offender’s understanding of the amount or purity of the drug was limited to what they were told or what they could glean for themselves. Having regard to the offender’s background, age (22 years), directed role in the offending and naivety, it is satisfied they acted partly out of immaturity to reflect some reduction in their moral culpability. Offending is objectively serious.

Rehabilitation: Offender has good prospects of rehabilitation. Offender is young and has accepted responsibility for their actions. Offender has worked constructively in custody and undertaken courses to make the best of their situation. Offender has acted to put their offending conduct behind them, and it is satisfied they will continue to try to rehabilitate themselves. Need for general deterrence and retribution is to be reduced with greater emphasis on rehabilitation.

Hardship: Offender has experienced a difficult time in custody as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and their limited English. Offender has found themselves isolated, bullied and intimidated. As a result, their mental health has deteriorated. Any further period of incarceration will continue to be more onerous on the offender.

Offender sentenced to 6 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 3 years, dating from 9 September 2020.
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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