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R v Reid [2023] NSWDC 161

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend contrary to s 474.17(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Offender also sentenced for state offence involving the distribution of an intimate image without consent. Original sentence for the Commonwealth offence imposed a conditional release order for 7 months and release without passing sentence on security of $100 to be of good behaviour for 7 months. Offender appealed against the severity of the sentence.

Manifest Excess: Offending fell at the lower end of the scale. The learned Magistrate rightly emphasised general deterrence and the invasion of the victim’s privacy as matters that accentuated the need to impose a sentence holding the offender to account for the harm that they caused. Nevertheless, harm to the victim did not go beyond that which would be presumed. General deterrence was important, but it was substantially moderated by offender’s mental conditions. Those mental conditions are also important in elevating importance of imposing a penalty that will facilitate offender’s rehabilitation. The offending was of a trivial kind. It is therefore expedient to release the offender on probation.

Appeal allowed. Offender discharged without proceeding to conviction upon giving security in the amount of $100 to be of good behaviour for 7 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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