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Judgment handed down in Kim and Fang v The Queen

10 October 2016

The Court of Appeal has dismissed two appeals against sentence for money laundering offences.

The applicants were co-offenders involved in a syndicate which arranged for the use of sex workers in four licensed brothels in Melbourne. A percentage of the earnings of the sex workers was then diverted to another co offender, who was not a licensed sex work services provider.  

Each applicant pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting dealing in proceeds of crime worth $50,000 or more. Kim was sentenced to 3 years and 2 months imprisonment with a non parole period of 2 years. Fang was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months imprisonment with a non parole period of 2 years and 5 months.

The applicants appealed on the basis of the sentencing judge’s approach to the benefit to be allowed for their pleas of guilty, the treatment of their lack of prior convictions, disparity between their sentences and those of their co-offenders, and manifest excess.

The Court, applying its decision today in Director of Public Prosecutions (Cth) v Thomas, held that the applicants were entitled to reduced sentences by virtue of the utilitarian benefit following from their pleas of guilty, but found that the sentencing judge had complied with that requirement.

The Court dismissed the appeals on the grounds relating to lack of prior convictions, parity and manifest excess. The Court said that the sentences reflected a proper balance of the relevant sentencing considerations and might have been seen as lenient.

Read the full judgment on Austlii (External link)

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