The Court of Appeal (Justice Priest and Justice Croucher, Justice Whelan dissenting) today allowed an appeal against sentence by Glyn Dickman (‘the applicant’), following remittal by the High Court. (The applicant had originally had his convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal, but the convictions were restored on an appeal by the Crown to the High Court.)

In 2014, the applicant was convicted at trial of intentionally causing serious injury and making a threat to kill, and was sentenced to be imprisoned for eight years, with a non-parole period of five years and six months. The Crown case was that, on 27 September 2009, the applicant and a co-offender, Ali Chaouk — both of whom were affiliated with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club — violently assaulted a German tourist at the Hells Angels clubrooms. Chaouk was convicted of recklessly causing serious injury, making a threat to kill, false imprisonment and armed robbery, and was sentenced to five years and nine months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years and nine months.

Finding that there was unjustified disparity between the sentence imposed upon the applicant and that imposed on Chaouk, Justice Priest and Justice Croucher observed that Chaouk’s role in the assault was not significantly less than the applicant’s, and that, unlike the applicant, Chaouk had relevant prior convictions for violent offending. In resentencing the applicant to a total effective sentence of six years and nine months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years and six months, the majority acknowledged that there had been an ‘inordinate delay in bringing the applicant’s case to trial’, and that ‘the anxiety caused by the application for special leave, the appeal to the High Court, and awaiting judgment, coupled with his release and re-incarceration, must have been very difficult for him’.

Justice Whelan, dissenting, found that there was no unjustifiable disparity, and thus that the sentencing discretion should not be reopened.

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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 Court's full judgment on AustLII (External link)

Author
Supreme Court of Victoria
Publisher
Supreme Court of Victoria
Date of Publication

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