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Judgment handed down in Joash Boyton v The Queen

26 February 2016

In the Court of Appeal judgment of Joash Boyton v The Queen [2016] VSCA 13, handed down on 22 February, Joash Boyton, the applicant, committed 34 offences of dishonesty using the internet over a period from when he was 17 years of age until he was 20. He pleaded guilty. He has no prior convictions.

Boyton grew up in a very restricted religious environment. After apprehension, he removed himself from that environment and undertook, at his own expense, psychological counselling. Between his offending and his sentence he was fully employed and established his own computer business. He also married in that period and he and his wife saved sufficient money to repay the sum of $50,057, which was the full amount of the outstanding losses caused by his offending.

Boyton was sentenced in the County Court to a total effective sentence of four years nine months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years six months. He was 23 years of age at the time of sentence.

On the application for leave to appeal, counsel for Boyton and counsel for the prosecution both submitted that the sentence which had been imposed was manifestly excessive.

The Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal, allowed the appeal, and re-sentenced Boyton to a term of imprisonment of one year, to be followed by a community correction order of three years on conditions requiring him to be supervised, to undertake counselling as directed, and to perform community work.

Read the full judgment on AustLII (External link)

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