The Court of Appeal (Justice Tate, Justice Kyrou and Justice Kidd) today allowed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions against a total effective sentence of 4 years’ imprisonment and a non-parole period of 2 years and 10 months imposed by the County Court for child sex offences committed by the respondent against his stepdaughter. The Court found that the sentence was manifestly inadequate and resentenced him to a total effective sentence of 9 years and 7 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 7 years.
The respondent had pleaded guilty to two charges of incest, four charges of committing an indecent act with a child under 16 years of age, one charge of production of child pornography and one charge of possession of child pornography. The victim was aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the offending, which extended over a period of 2.5 years.
The respondent filmed the two acts of incest and one of the indecent acts without the victim’s knowledge. The video files of the acts of incest show persistence by the respondent in the face of protests and obvious distress on the part of the victim.
The Court of Appeal held that all but one of the sentences imposed by the County Court did not adequately reflect the objective gravity of the respondent’s offending, including his gross breach of trust and abuse of parental authority, and his high moral culpability. The Court found that the relevant sentences failed to reflect the maximum penalties of 25 years’ imprisonment for incest and 10 years’ imprisonment for indecent act with a child under 16 or the sentences imposed in comparable cases.
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.