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R v Obiekie; R v Garaty [2022] NSWDC 654

Obiekie was sentenced following conviction for 1 count of importing a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.3(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Obiekie also sentenced for a state drug supply offence. Garaty was sentenced following conviction for 1 count of importing a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.3(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offending related to 1.661 kilograms and an additional unknown quantity of methamphetamine.

Nature and Circumstances: In respect to the first count, given the quantity of methamphetamine is unknown, offenders are to be sentenced on the basis that the importation was a de minimis amount. Count 2 involved 1.661 kilograms of methamphetamine and was at the lowest end of the commercial quantity threshold. Obiekie was primarily responsible for the importations. Whilst Garaty assisted with those importations, this was done under the direction and guidance of Obiekie. Obiekie was aware generally of the quantity of drugs being imported in respect of count 2. Garaty’s involvement was inextricably caught up in their vulnerability and emotional attachment to Obiekie and they were generally acting in accordance with Obiekie’s directions and requests. Garaty’s offending falls within the low to mid-range of objective seriousness.

Rehabilitation: Obiekie continues to deny any involvement in the importations. Obiekie claimed that it was Garaty who had arranged everything. Obiekie’s ongoing denial of any involvement in the importation does not bode well in terms of their prospects of rehabilitation. However, Obiekie has actively engaged in courses and work which has been offered during their incarceration to date. Garaty’s conduct was inextricably entwined in their relationship with Obiekie. Garaty has freely acknowledged the stupidity of their actions and now appreciated the very serious consequences. Garaty has good prospects of rehabilitation

Obiekie sentenced to 12 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period with a non-parole period of 8 years for the federal offences. Garaty sentenced to 8 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and 6 months.
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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