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R v Temssah [2021] VCC 1353

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of engaging in conduct in preparation for an incursion into a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activity contrary to s 119.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.  

Nature and Circumstances: Criminality occurred for period of 17 days. Preparatory acts were unsophisticated but purposeful. Conduct persisted even though offender had ample opportunity to deist. There was a degree of planning evident in the acts undertaken. The acts engaged in were all functional in nature and not in and of themselves violent or threatening. It is the intention behind inherently unremarkable acts that must be assessed. There is gravity about the offender’s intention. It is evident from offenders sentiments that they sincerely wished to engage in hostile activity and to die as a martyr if necessary. Entirety of conduct was engaged in whilst in direct conduct with an undercover operative purporting to be an IS sympathiser.  

Rehabilitation: Offender publicly and under oath renounced belief in extremist ideology that motivated offending. Offender’s rejection of extremism was given in the course of testimony where offender clearly and falsely minimised the nature of intentions in going to Kashmir. Whilst possibility that renouncement was disingenuous cannot be entirely excluded, on balance, it was accepted as genuine. Some caution must be expressed simply because offender appears to have become radicalised within a relatively short time. Speed of conversion to become a person prepared to give life in service of a religious ideology is concerning. Prospects of rehabilitation are reasonable.  

Offender sentenced to 4 years and 9 months imprisonment with a 3 year and 9 month non-parole period.
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