Judgments and Sentences

Full-text ACT Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judgments from 2002 are available on this website. For judgments prior to 2002 please contact the Russell Fox Library.

Sentencing remarks are generally loaded onto the internet within a few days of the sentencing although there are occasions where they are not published until some time later. Hardcopy sentence decisions are also available from the Russell Fox Library.

 

Recent Court of Appeal, Supreme Court judgments and sentences:

  

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23 January 2020

R v Goodge [2019] ACTSC 297 (SCC 11 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentence – aggravated robbery – making a demand with a threat to endanger health, safety or physical wellbeing – intensive correction assessment to be prepared – where restorative justice is appropriate

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23 January 2020

R v XXL [2019] ACTSC 294 (SCC 57 of 2019; SCC 115 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentence – burglary – offender under 18 years old at time of offence – later offence of aggravated robbery when an adult – whether s 80 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 (ACT) constrains the availability of an intensive correction order for the latter offence – it does if a good behaviour order is imposed for the first offence – intensive correction order made for aggravated robbery

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22 January 2020

R v EJ [2017] ACTSC 27

CRIMINAL LAW – Particular Offences – offences against the person – act of indecency with a young person – indecent assault.
EVIDENCE – Judicial Discretion to Admit or Exclude Evidence – application to admit tendency evidence – significant probative value – special features – unsupported evidence by the complainant – potential prejudice – application is refused.
EVIDENCE – Judicial Discretion to Admit or Exclude Evidence – application to admit relationship or context evidence – to explain charged act was not an isolated incident – application allowed.

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22 January 2020

R v Cowling [2018] ACTSC 188

CRIMINAL LAW – Pre-Trial Application – relationship evidence – context evidence – whether the material is relevant – whether the material should be excluded under s 137 of the Evidence Act 2011 (ACT) – credibility – whether the probative value is outweighed by potential prejudicial effect

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22 January 2020

R v Ophel [2019] ACTSC 325 (SCC 344 of 2017)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Indicative Sentence – five counts attempted murder – not guilty by reason of mental impairment – consideration of s 302 Crimes Act 1900 (ACT)

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21 January 2020

R v Hamilton (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 330 (SCC 240 of 2017)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – arson – committing an act endangering life – real steps towards rehabilitation – suitability for Intensive Corrections Order

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21 January 2020

R v Sanderson [2016] ACTSC 277 (SCC 234 of 2015)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – co-offenders – guilty pleas – assault occasioning actual bodily harm – unlawful confinement – offender giving evidence against co-offenders

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20 January 2020

R v BEK (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 324 (SCC 295 of 2018; SCC 296 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – act of indecency – incest – whether subsequent offending to be treated as a prior conviction – relevance of delay where 28-29 years after offending conduct

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20 January 2020

R v Maruskanic [2019] ACTSC 337 (SCC 316 of 2018) 

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material – possession of child abuse material – using a carriage service to access child pornography material – very good prospects of rehabilitation – whether immediate term of imprisonment ordinarily warranted for child pornography offences

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20 January 2020

R v Crowther [2019] ACTSC 338 (SCC 154 of 2019; SCC 155 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – aggravated robbery – assault – excellent prospects for rehabilitation – suitability for Intensive Correction Order

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16 January 2020

R v Vojneski [2014] ACTSC 66

EVIDENCE – Tendency Evidence – murder – circumstantial case – accused’s use of knives – whether probative value substantially outweighs prejudicial effect on accused – ss 97, 101 Evidence Act 2011 (ACT) – single incident does not normally support a tendency EVIDENCE ¬– Coincidence Evidence – murder – circumstantial case – accused’s use of knives – whether probative value substantially outweighs prejudicial effect on accused – ss 98, 101 Evidence Act 2011 (ACT) – a combination of non-striking similarities will rarely, if ever, have significant probative value

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16 January 2020

R v SC [2019] ACTSC 237 (SCC 257 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – act of indecency upon a person under the age of 10 years – act of indecency in the presence of another person under the age of 10 years – pleas of guilty – subject to a Good Behaviour Order at the time of the offences – whether moral culpability was lessened by reason of mental disorder – drug abuse – significant degree of premeditation involved – prospects for rehabilitation cannot be described as good

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16 January 2020

R v Sharp [2019] ACTSC 360 (SCC 7 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – threatening or intimidating a witness – plea of guilty – aggravating circumstance that the victim was a police officer acting in the course of his duties – serious example of this type of offending

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15 January 2020

R v Sullivan [2019] ACTSC 163 (SCC 43B of 2018; SCC 44 of 2018; SCC 280 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – burglary – theft – possession of a prohibited firearm – possession of ammunition for a firearm – pleas of guilty – drug addiction – consideration of prospects for rehabilitation

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10 January 2020

R v Froome [2018] ACTSC 152 (SCC 221 of 2017; SCC 222 of 2017)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – unlawful confinement – demands accompanied by threats – pleas of guilty

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10 January 2020

R v DT [2018] ACTSC 355 (SCC 170 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – sexual intercourse with a young person – using a carriage service for child pornography material – possess child pornography – using the internet to provide pornographic material to a young person

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10 January 2020

R v Grey [2019] ACTSC 104

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Pre-trial application – application to adduce tendency evidence – acts of indecency without consent – sexual intercourse without consent – offences against sex workers

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10 January 2020

R v Watson [2019] ACTSC 63

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Pre-trial application – application to adduce tendency evidence – application to present evidence in summary form

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9 January 2020

R v Apps [2019] ACTSC 249

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Application in proceeding – Two offenders – Aggravated robbery by way of joint commission – Application to sever indictment and separate trial of co| accused – where the case against the applicant is alleged to be significantly weaker than co| accused – whether or not there is a real risk of positive injustice as a consequence of joint trial

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9 January 2020

R v Tang (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 21

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – trial – trial by judge alone – circumstantial case – verdict – accused found not guilty of negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm

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8 January 2020

R v Collier [2019] ACTSC 358 (SCC 199 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – aggravated burglary – circumstances of violence – where offender did not personally perpetrate or threaten violence – plea of guilty – criminal history

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20 December 2019

R v Sirl [2019] ACTSC 355 (SCC 63 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentencing – maintaining sexual relationship with a young person – two acts of sexual intercourse – exploitation of the victim’s use of methamphetamine – no evidence of remorse – offender introduced to illicit drugs at very early age – substantial criminal history – totality – sentence of imprisonment

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20 December 2019

R v Vickerstaff [2019] ACTSC 205

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Admissibility – pre-trial application – application to exclude evidence – voluntary statement made by the accused to police – where evidence of a lie may be an implied admission – whether the accused a protected person for the purposes of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) – whether the accused “questioned as a suspect” – whether admission admissible if not recorded – reliability of admissions – discretion to exclude admissions

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19 December 2019

R v Mullins [2016] ACTSC 230

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Tendency Evidence – application to adduce – s 97 Evidence Act 2011 (ACT)

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19 December 2019

In the matter of an adoption of QS [2019] ACTSC 357

ADOPTION – APPLICATION TO DISPENSE WITH CONSENT OF BIRTH PARENTS – Whether requirements of s 35 of the Adoption Act 1993 (ACT) are satisfied – where child raised by foster carers since birth – where birth mother still involved with child, has a bond with the child and is seeking to be more involved with the care of the child – application dismissed

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19 December 2019

R v Sidaros (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 348

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Whether representations made by the accused should be excluded under ss 138 and/or 90 – Exclusion of improperly obtained evidence – Representations made to police following caution – When representations made after police provided accused with statement of facts and informed accused that they will not question him

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19 December 2019

R v DD [2017] ACTSC 109 (SCC 32 of 2017)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – assault occasioning actual bodily harm – stalking – attempting to contravene a protection order – contravening a protection order – domestic violence – criminal history

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19 December 2019

R v Greentree (No 2) [2017] ACTSC 315 (SCC 192 of 2017; SCC 193 of 2017)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – aggravated burglary – common assault – possess a knife without a reasonable excuse

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19 December 2019

R v Greentree [2017] ACTSC 274

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – disputed facts hearing – aggravated burglary – whether the accused committed the burglary in company

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18 December 2019

R v Sidaros (No 3) [2019] ACTSC 349

CRIMINAL LAW – EVIDENCE – Unfavourable evidence – Whether evidence given by witness who cannot recall material in prior statement is “unfavourable” under s 38

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18 December 2019

R v Vickerstaff (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 343 (SCC 274 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentencing – manslaughter – sentencing of three co-offenders – offence by joint commission with varied degrees of culpability – offender identified as the principal offender – offender entered a plea of guilty following pleas of guilty by co-offenders – some evidence of premeditation – weapon used in offence – use of weapon opportunistic – consideration of remorse – consideration of mental health diagnoses

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18 December 2019

R v Welsh [2019] ACTSC 344 (SCC 273 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentencing –manslaughter – sentencing of three co-offenders – offence by joint commission with varied degrees of culpability – offender identified as the least culpable – offender entered early plea of guilty – significant criminal history

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18 December 2019

R v Booth [2019] ACTSC 345 (SCC 272 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentencing –manslaughter – sentencing of three co-offenders – offence by joint commission with varied degrees of culpability – offender identified as the least culpable – offender entered early plea of guilty – significant criminal history

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17 December 2019

R v Sirl [2019] ACTSC 225

EVIDENCE – Subpoenas – application by the Crown for protected confidences to be disclosed – where legitimate forensic purpose identified – where preliminary examination conducted

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16 December 2019

R v EN [2019] ACTSC 354 (SCC 51 of 2019; SCC 190 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – maintain sexual relationship with young person – maintain sexual relationship with person under special care – indecent assault male – pleas of guilty

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13 December 2019

R v Mitchener [2019] ACTSC 351 (SCC 163 of 2019)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – sentence – using a carriage service to access child pornography material – intentionally possess child exploitation material – pleas of guilty

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13 December 2019

R v Lau; R v Lutze [2019] ACTSC 353

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Trial – trial by judge alone – verdict – joint commission aggravated burglary – joint commission aggravated robbery – alternative charge of joint commission theft – co‑offenders – whether accused entered into an agreement to commit offences – whether there was use of or threatened use of force

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13 December 2019

R v MZ [2019] ACTSC 341 (SCC 318 & 319 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and punishment – sentencing – sexual intercourse without consent – administer a declared substance without authority – offending in the lower range of objective seriousness for the offences – no criminal history – positive character references – no remorse – offender suffering from depression and anxiety – full-time imprisonment more onerous upon the offender – partially suspended sentence imposed

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11 December 2019

R v Edwards [2019] ACTSC 346

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Fitness to plead – intellectual disability – capacity to exercise right to challenge jurors or the jury – accused found fit to plead

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10 December 2019

Faris v Savage [2019] ACTSC 339

APPEAL – Application to join appellant’s former solicitor as a party to the appeal – Application for leave to adduce fresh evidence on the hearing of the appeal – question of costs – reference to some matters of principle regarding the ground of appeal – consideration of the nature of the evidence which the appellant sought to adduce on the hearing of the appeal

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6 December 2019

R v Nicholas; R v Palmer [2019] ACTCA 36

APPEAL – CRIMINAL LAW – Appeal against sentence – Crown appeal – Reduction of sentence for guilty plea – Late guilty plea – Schedule of offences taken into account – Two co-offenders sentenced to the same head sentence – Co-offenders with different subjective circumstances – Whether error in applying sentence discount – Whether manifest inadequacy of sentence and nonparole period – Parity – Residual discretion – Resentence

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6 December 2019

KN v The Queen [2019] ACTCA 37

APPEAL – CRIMINAL LAW – Statutory interpretation of s 56 of Crimes Act – Elements of maintain sexual relationship with a young person – Engage in sexual intercourse with a young person charged on the same indictment as relationship offence – Whether the acts relied upon to satisfy specific sexual offences can also be relied upon to satisfy sexual relationship offence – Model Provision of the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Sexual Abuse –Double jeopardy – Departure from cardinal principle of criminal law requiring jury unanimity

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4 December 2019

Lodding v Barnes [2019] ACTSC 335

CRIMINAL LAW – APPEAL – Sentence – trafficking a controlled drug – whether the Magistrate provided adequate reasons for sentencing decision – whether the Magistrate gave adequate consideration to sentencing alternatives – appeal upheld CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – conviction confirmed – appellant re-sentenced

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4 December 2019

Rogers v Thackray [2019] ACTSC 336

CRIMINAL LAW – APPEAL – Sentence – act of indecency in the presence of another without their consent – whether the Magistrate took early guilty plea into account – where discount not explicitly stated in the Magistrate’s reasons for decision – whether the sentence was manifestly excessive – appeal upheld CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – conviction confirmed – appellant re-sentenced

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3 December 2019

R v Teer [2019] ACTSC 334 (SCC 189 of 2018)

CRIMINAL LAW – JURISDICTION, PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Judgment and Punishment – Sentence – act of indecency – assault occasioning actual bodily harm – where offender and victim were in a domestic relationship – where no criminal record – where parties agreed threshold of s 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 (ACT) has not been crossed

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3 December 2019

Kirby v MZ [2019] ACTSC 327

CRIMINAL LAW – RELATED CHARGE – Determined by court without jury – administer a declared substance without authorisation – jury found accused guilty of sexual intercourse without consent – whether accused administered a substance to the complainant – he did – whether the substance administered to the complainant was a declared substance

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3 December 2019

R v Watson (No 2) [2019] ACTSC 252

CRIMINAL LAW – PRE-TRIAL APPLICATION – Application for permanent stay – application for conditional stay – where Crown files a notice of discontinuance for the purposes of reissuing an indictment rather than ending a prosecution – tendency evidence – latent duplicity in indictment – coincidence evidence – application to admit evidence in a summary form – whether or not evidence admitted in a summary form should include a qualification
EVIDENCE – SUMMARY DOCUMENT – Summary of evidence under s 50 of the Evidence Act 2011 (ACT) – whether merely aide memoire – whether underlying documents need to be tendered

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3 December 2019

Urlich v The Queen [2019] ACTCA 30

APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – In General and Right of Appeal – Appeal against sentence – where appellant convicted of manslaughter – where appellant had made significant admissions in the course of the trial – non-compliance with s 37 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 (ACT) – whether specific error – whether sentence was manifestly excessive – whether resentencing warranted