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Tartaglia v The Queen [2022] SASCA 41

The offender was sentenced following a conviction of 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to ss 307.1(1) and 11.2A(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Original sentence imposed 12 years and 2 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 8 years and 8 months. Offender appealed on the ground that the sentence was manifestly excessive.

Manifest Excess: Trial judge adopted the same notional starting points for the offender and their co-offender. It was not necessary for the trial judge to make any findings as to whether the offender committed an act of participation in the commission of as regardless, they were equally liable for the conduct committed by the co-offender. Trial judge was also correct in finding there was little to distinguish the offender and co-offender’s circumstances. Both had significant criminal antecedents and had previously served sentences of imprisonment yet were not deterred from reoffending. There was a sound basis for the trial judge adopting the same notional head sentence and non-parole period for both offenders. Offending involved a vast amount of methamphetamine concealed in the consignment with a street value between $4 and $7 million. Offending was sophisticated and an intricately planned operation. Amount and value of importation meant general deterrence needed to feature strongly in the sentence. There was limited scope for leniency and a clear need for personal deterrence given the offender’s significant antecedents and limited prospects of rehabilitation as they reoffended shortly after being released on parole. Whilst it might be said to be a heavy sentence, it was not manifestly excessive.

Leave to appeal allowed. 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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