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R v Shoma [2019] VSC 367

sentence — engaging in a terrorist act offence contrary to s 101.1(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offender stabbed victim in neck with kitchen knife, resulting in physical injury — attack occurred in victim’s home where victim was homestay host for offender —victim impact statements — ss 16AB, 16A(2)(ea) — victim impact statements received by court from victim and victim’s wife — victim’s 5 year old daughter witness attack — victim suffers from constant physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder — distress at watching daughter suffer flashbacks, severe nightmares and night sweats — sentencing terrorism offences — body of case law concerning preparatory offences is apposite to intentionally engaging in terrorist act offences — no clear binary division of objective seriousness between terrorist act done in public than act done in private — fact that no adult witnesses to attack does not necessarily make offending less serious than potential lone wolf attack in public — attack violated legitimate expectation that everyone should be and feel safe in their home — number of intended or actual victims are not determinative of assessment of objective seriousness — irrespective of number of immediate victims, assessment of harm must necessarily take into consideration harm done to Australian public and Australian polity — fact that terrorist act was completed rather than contemplated relevant to assessment of gravity of offending and moral culpability of the offender — nature and circumstances of offence — s16A(2)(a) — offender entered study program from Bangladesh to Australia with ‘sole purpose’ of carrying out terrorist act — bringing large kitchen knife from Bangladesh and carrying out attack within 8 days of arriving in Australia demonstrates seriousness of offending — offender chose weapon that could be brought into Australia without detection, and a mode of attack that could be executed with speed and scant preparation — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — offender’s early plea of guilty has utilitarian value — full, frank and immediate admission does not demonstrate good prospects of rehabilitation as admissions made because offender was proud of her actions ‘believing them to be those of a martyr’ — deportation — offender did not demonstrate that deportation after release from custody will result in hardship — ‘scant evidence’ that offender would be at risk of extra-judicial punishment upon return to Bangladesh — sentence — offender sentenced to 42 years’ imprisonment with a 31 year and 6 month non-parole period
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