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Stickells v.the State of Western Australia - (19 Sep 2018)

Sentencing is a discretionary exercise, an Appellate Court can intervene only if Appellant demonstrates either an express or implied material error


The Appellant appeals against his sentence of 4 years' immediate imprisonment imposed on his conviction, on his pleas of guilty, to one count of possession of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply and two counts of extortion. The Appellant contends that, the sentences imposed for the extortion offences were manifestly excessive. Issue raised in present matter is whether the sentences for the Appellant's extortion offences were manifestly excessive.

Sentencing is a discretionary exercise. An appellate Court can intervene only if the Appellant demonstrates either an express or implied material error. In order to determine whether a sentence for an individual offence is manifestly excessive, the offence should be viewed in light of the maximum sentence prescribed by law for the crime, the standards of sentencing customarily imposed with respect to it, the place that the criminal conduct occupies on the scale of seriousness of crimes of that type, and the offender's personal circumstances.

It is well established that, in sentencing for extortion offences, general and personal deterrence are important sentencing factors. The Appellant was in possession of more than 13.5 g of methylamphetamine of a high degree of purity, with the intention to sell or supply it to another. The author of the psychiatric report identified the Appellant's use of methylamphetamine as the primary cause of the Appellant's offending. After making due allowance for the Appellant's pleas of guilty, and the other mitigating factors, including his remorse, good prospects of rehabilitation and low risk of reoffending, the total effective sentence of 4 years' immediate imprisonment was within the range of an appropriate exercise of the sentencing discretion. Appeal dismissed.


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