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Wong v The Queen [2018] NSWCCA 263

appeal against sentence — importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug offence contrary to s 307.1(1) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence related to 787g of pure methamphetamine — one other offence taken into account pursuant to s 16BA — original sentence imposed 6 years’ and 9 months imprisonment with 3 year and 9 month non-parole period — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — sentencing judge did not refer to s 16A(2)(g) or specifically refer to offender’s early plea of guilty or to any mitigation of sentence to take account that plea — failure to expressly refer to plea and any discount on sentence allowed to reflect its value to justice system does not necessarily demonstrate failure to take plea into account — clear from sentencing proceedings that sentencing judge aware that applicant had acknowledged guilt at early stage and entered guilty plea to principal offence — equally clear that sentencing judge understood that full recognition of benefit to criminal justice system of early plea should be extended to offender — always preferable for sentencing judge to specifically refer to early plea and quantify discount on sentence, failure to do so does not necessarily establish error — manifest excess — starting point for considering whether sentence is manifestly excessive is the maximum penalty specified for the offence; here, life imprisonment — indicator of how seriously community regards importation of controlled drugs, and seriousness with which courts are obliged to treat such crimes — sentencing judge’s task was to have regard to that statutory guidepost and relevant principles of sentencing law, to take into account the offence on a schedule before the court, to give weight to offender’s personal circumstances, and arrive at sentence that did justice to community and offender — that is a discretionary exercise — sentencing judge allowed offender benefit of all positive features of subjective case and varied ratio of sentence considerably in offender’s favour — sentence imposed was a modest one — 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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