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Read v The Queen [2020] WASCA 56

appeal against sentence — 25 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception from a Commonwealth entity offence contrary to s 134.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, 1 count of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception from a Commonwealth entity offence contrary to s 11.1(1) and s 134.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code — offences relate to obtaining $246,923.29 and attempting to obtain further $4,266 respectively — original sentence imposed 4 years’ imprisonment with a 2 year non-parole period —  totalitynature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — first limb of totality principle error alleged by offender — where offender relies upon an allegation of implied error, offender must persuade the court that the outcome, having regard to all the circumstances, is unreasonable or plainly unjust — offender abused trust reposed in them as an accountant and tax agent to defraud the revenue of a substantial sum of money over a lengthy period of time — exploited knowledge of taxation system and its weaknesses to obtain money to fund their illicit drug use and gambling — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — reparation — s 16A(2)(f)(i) — co-operation — s 16A(2)(h) — most significant mitigating factors identified by sentencing judge were offender’s early pleas of guilty, which provided significant utilitarian benefit and were genuine expression of remorse, payment of almost full restitution, offender’s disclosure of offending to their employer and their cooperation with ATO investigation — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — some recognition must also be given to offender’s efforts to rehabilitate themselves — it is to their credit they no longer use illicit substances — character — s 16A(2)(m) — offender’s prior good character has only limited weight — it was by reason of offender’s good character that they were in a position to commit the offences — having considered all relevant circumstances, including those referrable to offender personally and recognising number of significant mitigating circumstances, appeal judges not persuaded that total effective sentence infringed first limb of totality principle — in appeal judges’ views, total effective sentence properly reflected objective seriousness of offending as a whole and strong need to deter others from using their position to exploit the revenue — leave to appeal refused — appeal dismissed
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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