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R v O’Brien [2021] NSWDC 504

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to s 307.21(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offence related to 446.61 grams of pure gamma-butrolactone. Offender sentenced for additional state offences.   Nature and Circumstances: GBL was purchased online using personal details and credit card for less than $50. Offender engaged in unsophisticated offending of an amount less than half the commercial quantity of GBL. Offender was not participating in criminal syndicate but was acting of own accord and any financial benefit they were to receive by sharing the product with friends was likely to be minimal. Offending was at the lowest end of the range.   Cooperation: Offender submitted they assisted law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the offence by making admissions. Offender told police they purchased the consignment for use as paint remover. Degree of cooperation is not to be given great weight.   Antecedents: Offender’s formative years have been marked by exposure to domestic violence and child sexual abuse. Notwithstanding working successfully as a nurse and in sales, those are matters which are relevant to diminishing culpable offending. Offender’s criminal history is reflective of history of drug and alcohol abuse. This history disentitles the offender to leniency in sentencing, although leniency has previously been a feature with numerous section 9 bonds being imposed to be of good behaviour.   Mental Condition: Drug use was maladaptive coping mechanism. However, offender’s mental health was not accepted to be causative of current offending. Offending was result of ongoing drug abuse and association with other persons involved in the drug milieu.   Rehabilitation: Offender has engaged positively with treatment regime since January 2021 and has had nil positive drug detection results. This is compelling evidence that they have advanced their rehabilitation, have insight and self-awareness into their offending and if continued, will have reasonable prospects of rehabilitation. The salutary effect of arrest and imprisonment warrants a more positive assessment of risk of reoffending than that in the SAR.   Offender sentenced to 18 month community corrections order.
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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