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Judgment handed down in Thu v The Queen

24 February 2017

The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal by Aung Thu from his conviction in the County Court of one charge of rape. The Court also refused the appellant leave to appeal against his sentence of 9 years and 6 months with a non-parole period of 7 years, imposed for the rape that he had been convicted of together with three further charges of committing an indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child under 16 years of age.

In the conviction appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the judge was correct to admit evidence of the appellant’s conduct and statements made by him to his 10 year old victim, as showing the appellant’s sexual interest in the victim and the appellant’s willingness to act on that sexual interest in respect of the victim. The Court of Appeal concluded that the judge was correct when he ruled that this evidence had significant probative value. As this was the only complaint made by the appellant in respect of his conviction, the appeal against conviction was dismissed.

The sentencing judge imposed a sentence of 8 years and 4 months in respect of the rape for which the appellant was convicted. Sentences of 14 months’, 16 months’ and 15 months’ imprisonment were imposed in respect of the indecent act charges. The appellant contended that these sentences, the total effective sentence and the non-parole period were all manifestly excessive. The Court of Appeal rejected that submission. In respect of the sentence for rape, the Court said that the sentence of 8 years and 4 months imprisonment imposed by the judge was entirely appropriate. Accordingly, the Court refused the appellant leave to appeal against his sentence.

Read the Court's full judgment on Austlii(External link)

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