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The Queen v Ware [2019] TASCA

sentence — 3 counts of aggravated illegal importation of plants offence contrary to s 67(3) of the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth), and 7 counts of importing conditionally non-prohibited goods offence contrary to s 186(4) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) — offences related to 2,186 garlic bulbils — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — the family to which garlic, a member of the Allium family belongs, is a known host for a serious plant pathogen known as “Xyella fastidiosa”, a disease not present in Australia but native to United States and Canada where the garlic was imported from — garlic also host for number of exotic pathogens and pests — numerous unwanted exotic insects known to be present in the United States and Canada, which are not ordinarily found in Australia — sentencing judge accepted disease had not been detected in garlic bulbils, but the law reflects the fact that the risk exists, based upon expert assessment — the only way to manage this risk is through enforcement of laws offender breached — for a modest financial advantage, offender prepared to engage in course of conduct which created risk to all agricultural activity in Australia — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — sentencing judge regarded need for general deterrence as particularly important aspect of sentencing exercise in this case — did not ignore the need for specific deterrence in the face of protracted course of conduct — conduct ceased because offender was caught, not because offender thought better of what they were doing — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — sentencing judge prepared to accept the plea was entered at relatively early stage after resolution of technical matters, but sentencing judge did not accept plea made at earliest opportunity — some utilitarian benefit accrues in consequence of offender’s plea, given 10% discount — guilty plea can be evidence of remorse — when guilty plea considered in context of remorse, it is appropriate to have regard to the strength of the Crown case — there was some recognition of the inevitable in offender’s plea — rehabilitation — s 16A(2)(n) — co-operation — s 16A(2)(h) — admissions made by offender during interview and offender co-operated with authorities — held in high regard by peers, evidenced by leadership role in industry body — suffered significant loss of reputation, relevant for rehabilitation that will influence offender’s future conduct and discourage further offender — sentence imposed 11 months’ imprisonment, released on recognizance after 2 months for $2,000 and ordered to be of good behaviour for 3 years
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