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R v Robsan-Bolan [2021] NSWDC 48

The offender was sentenced after pleading guilty to 1 count of attempting to import a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug contrary to ss 11.1(1) and 307.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and a State offence. Offence related to 300.83 grams of pure cocaine. Additional Commonwealth offences taken into account on s 16BA Schedule.  

Nature and Circumstances: Offender used ‘dark web’ to attempt to purchase a marketable quantity of cocaine in a mailed package originating from Chile. The package was intercepted by Australian Border Force. There was a lack of sophistication in the offending. If there was any impulsivity in the transaction itself, offender still had time to consider whether they would collect the packages, but went through with the collection anyway. Desire for financial gain motivated the offender but was not the sole consideration. Offender had vague aspirations to finance the costs of mother’s expected treatment for cancer. As the drugs were confiscated there was no demonstrable harm, however at least economic harm is done to the community by the resources that need to be utilised in law enforcement to detect and investigate criminal activity.  

Mental Condition: Psychologist opines that offender’s mental state, sleep deprivation and distorting effects of severe drug addiction would have been contributing factors to impaired cognitive performance which contributed to errors in judgment. Immaturity and disorder, in circumstances of unemployment and news of mother’s diagnosis, did soften culpability.  

Hardship to Offender: Offender has been isolated. Offender has not access to treatment programs nor trips from family members. Offender has been victim of violence, which they have not complained about fearing reprisal. Offender tried to harm themselves when first entering custody.  

Rehabilitation: Offender has implicitly indicated willingness to rehabilitate. Offender has committed to do what they can to avoid further criminal activity. On release offender will return to family fold, and their parents, to the extent they are able will take all necessary steps. As to the absence of a concrete plan for treatment, offender has been in custody for the last year and it has not been practicable to identify a plan. Rehabilitation is elevated in this case due to having already endured a traumatic experience in custody and being in need of treatment. This is also for community’s benefit in having offender more effectively re-integrated after period of incarceration.  

Offender sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment, with a 2 year and 6 month non-parole period.
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