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Urdanegui v The Quen [2021] NSWCCA 170

The offender was sentenced following a plea of guilty to importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug contrary to s 307.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The offence related to 375.6g of pure cocaine. Original sentenced imposed 7 years imprisonment with a 4 year and 6 month non-parole period. The offender appealed on the basis that the sentencing judge failed to take into account the utilitarian value of the offender’s guilty plea.  

Guilty Plea: The offender was sentenced well after the decision in Xiao v The Queen. The written submissions of the parties on sentencing acknowledged the fact of an early guilty plea and that the Court should take the utilitarian value of that plea into account. The sentencing judge referred to the offender facilitating the course of justice. The reference is not to the offender’s subjective willingness to do so. Subjective willingness is ordinarily weighed as part of the overall sentencing exercise. The fact that the discount applied was not specified did not of itself constitute an error. Nor did it provide a basis for inferring that the sentencing judge had not applied a discount where they had expressly stated they were doing so.  

Leave to appeal refused.    
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