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R v Tongue [2023] NSWDC 175

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to 1 count of making counterfeit money contrary to s 6 of the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Cth). Offender also sentenced for state dishonesty and drug offences. Further currency offences were taken into account under s 16BA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).

Nature and Circumstances: Police located a sheet of polymer on which 38 counterfeit $100 bills were printed. The notes were complete in that they were printed on both sides, but they were not cut into individual notes which would have been necessary if they were to be passed. The only other physical counterfeit currency had been shredded and was found in the bin of the shredder. The offender had on their computer a number of high-resolution images of $100 notes. The notes had some imperfections and mistakes in them. Offender did not intend to pass the counterfeit currency that they had produced. Offender’s attention to detail in producing the counterfeit currency was an exercise in hyperfocus caused by their ADHD. Offender did not provide a completed sheet of the counterfeit $100 notes to anyone else but did give a one-sided incomplete sheet to another person as a souvenir. Offender stopped trying to print any counterfeit money by May 2021. Offender did not intend to print any more counterfeit money and they have taken steps to destroy the counterfeit money that was printed.

Mental Condition: Offender suffers from ADHD and has an addiction to methylamphetamine which is explicable by reference to self-medicating for that condition. Offender has accepted treatment for ADHD and has successfully completed residential rehabilitation to address their drug use. Offender remains committed to continuing their abstinence through counselling and undertaking volunteer roles with their rehabilitation provider. Offender’s ADHD made them impulsive, hyper-focused and more susceptible to stimulant use. There was a clear causal nexus between these features of their ADHD and the offending conduct. As a result, offender’s moral culpability is reduced. General deterrence should be afforded less weight because the offender is not an appropriate person to be made an example of.

Rehabilitation: Offender has excellent prospects of rehabilitation. They have good insight into the causes of the offending conduct. Offender has a good support network and has demonstrated through participation in the program and by engaging a treating psychologist that they are committed to changing the matters that led them to commit the offences.

Offender sentenced to 15 months imprisonment to be released after 8 months on recognizance of $1 to be of good behaviour for 18 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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