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Schanker v The Queen [2018] VSCA 94

appeal against sentence — attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawful imported border-controlled drug offence contrary to ss 11.1(1) and 307.5(1) Commonwealth Criminal Code and trafficking in a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug offence contrary to s 302.2 Commonwealth Criminal Code — original sentence imposed 18 years’ imprisonment with 14 year non-parole period — nature and circumstances of offence — s 16A(2)(g) — objective seriousness — quantity of drug not controlling factor of seriousness of offence — sentence in order of 15 years’ imprisonment for offending not involving massive quantities invites scrutiny — offending of utmost gravity — quantity not massive but very large — drugs involved had high levels of purity, offender occupied commercial role and motivated by financial reward — offender received no benefits of guilty plea — offending occurred while offender on court-imposed Community Correction Order — sentencing practice — offender’s argument elevated importance of sentencing practice to be determinative of sentence’s appropriateness — sentencing practice informs but cannot determine appropriate sentence in particular case — cases suggest high quantity, high value border controlled drug offending where significant levels of responsibility with no discount for guilty plea invariably attract sentences of imprisonment in early to mid-double figures — antecedents — s 16A(2)(m) — offender’s shocking background moderates sentence but there are limits to its ameliorating influence — no specific evidentiary nexus established between background and offending in question — leave to appeal granted — 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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