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Judgment handed down in Binse v The Queen

22 June 2016

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Christopher Dean Binse against sentences imposed upon him for the offences of armed robbery, prohibited possession and use of a firearm (3 charges), reckless conduct endangering another person, and theft.  Mr Binse was sentenced to a total effective sentence of 18 years and 2 months’ imprisonment, of which 14 years and 2 months was the sentence on the armed robbery. The sentencing judge fixed a minimum non-parole period of 14 years and 2 months.

The offences for which Mr Binse was sentenced were committed in five separate incidents:

1. On 9 January 2012, a loaded semi-automatic handgun with a silencer fitted was found by police in a motor vehicle which Mr Binse had abandoned.

2. On 19 March  2012, Mr Binse  carried out an armed robbery on two Armaguard security guards, who were then carrying $235,090.05. At the time of  the armed robbery, Mr Binse was armed with a loaded  sawn-off pump action shotgun.

3. On 20 May 2012, Mr Binse produced a revolver in a restaurant after being approached by persons who were, unbeknown to him, plainclothes police officers.

4. Over an approximate 44-hour period from 21 May 2012 to 23 May 2012, a siege took place at the house in which Mr Binse was living. In the course of that siege, a number of shots were fired by Mr Binse.

5. During the siege, a storage unit rented by Mr Binse was searched and found to contain a revolver, a rifle, a shotgun and a submachine gun.

Mr Binse had been granted leave to appeal on two grounds. He contended that the sentence of  14 years  and 2 months imposed on the armed robbery was manifestly excessive. He also contended that as a result of that sentence being manifestly excessive, the total effective sentence and minimum non-parole period imposed were excessive.

In addition, Mr Binse sought to raise additional grounds. He sought to argue that the sentencing judge erred in adding two months to the sentence for armed robbery to take account of a sentence previously imposed upon him for contempt of court, and he sought to argue that a miscarriage of justice had arisen as a result of the fact that the sentencing judge had not been aware of a particular psychiatric diagnosis which had been made in 2013.

The Court of Appeal rejected each of Mr Binse’s grounds of appeal. The Court said that the sentencing judge was correct when he observed that the armed robbery was a very serious example of that offence. The Court said:

We do not accept that the sentencing judge ‘overweighted’ the seriousness of the armed robbery. The armed robbery itself was in the worst category. The offender had an extensive prior history of both armed robbery and firearm offences.

The Court of Appeal also rejected Mr Binse’s application to raise additional grounds.

Note: This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the published reasons for judgment.

Read the full judgment on Austlii (External link)

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