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The Queen v Abbas, Chaarani & Mohamed [2019] VSC 775

sentence — conspiring to do acts in preparation for or planning a terrorist act offence contrary to ss 11.5(1) and 101.6(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — 3 co-offenders — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — Co-offender 1 joined conspiracy comparatively late — during 3 weeks of involvement, not as active as Co-offenders 2 or 3, but still involved in 3 significant events of the testing of an IED, accompanying co-offenders for purchasing of hydrogen peroxide which could be used to make TATP and accompanying co-offenders for reconnaissance of possible location for imminent terrorist attack — Co-offenders 2 and 3 active players in conspiracy over entire 2 month period — upper range example of objective seriousness for several reasons — preparatory acts were done in contemplation of mass slaughter to occur in heart of Melbourne at time of particular significance to many Australians, Christmastime — Co-offender 1 will receive lesser sentence than co-conspirators because of lesser role in conspiracy, only actively involved for a couple of days of the last 3 weeks of the conspiracy and contribution to preparations and planning for a terrorist act was of limited significance, but not insignificant or fleeting — given nature of this conspiracy, Co-offender 1’s offending also an upper range example of the offence — parity guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — 4th member of conspiracy sentenced separately pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment with a 20 year non-parole period — Co-offender 1 does not get benefit of significant discount for having pleaded guilty at the earliest reasonable opportunity but Co-offenders 2 and 3 do get benefit of having given evidence at plea hearing publicly renouncing IS and violent jihad and benefit of having finally admitted guilt during testimony — these two developments support a finding in Co-offender 2 and 3’s favour, on the balance of probabilities, that both are genuinely on the path of de-radicalisation — this finding does not entitle offenders to same discount they would have received if they had pleaded guilty at earliest reasonable opportunity — Co-offender 1 has reasonable prospects of rehabilitation — contrition — s 16A(2)(f)(ii) — Co-offenders 2 and 3 have shown contrition and made some reparation for offence by giving evidence and publicly renouncing IS and violent jihad — totality — Co-offenders 2 and 3 currently undergoing sentence for others offences of attempting to engage in a terrorist act and engaging in a terrorist act, with both co-offenders sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment with a 17 year non-parole period — sentencing judge accepted there should be substantial concurrency having regard to principle of totality and avoiding ‘crushing sentences’, but there must necessarily be cumulation too — current offence much more serious than earlier terrorist offences — sentence — 22 years’ imprisonment imposed on Co-offender 1, with a 16 year and 6 month non-parole period — 26 years’ imprisonment imposed on Co-offenders 2 and 3, with 16 years of those 26 years to be cumulative on existing sentence (total effective sentence of 38 years) with a 28 year and 6 month non-parole period
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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