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  1. Armed robbery Case study for VELS

  2. 1. What is sentencing? • What laws guidea judge when sentencing? Photo: John French / Courtesy of The Age Chief Justice Marilyn Warren of the Supreme Court of Victoria Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  3. Who is responsible for sentencing? In Australia, responsibility for sentencing is spread among three groups Courts ~ interpret the laws ~ Parliament ~ makes the laws ~ Government ~ puts laws into operation ~ • Creates offences and decides what the maximum penalties will be • Makes the rules that the courts must apply to cases • Sets up punishments for judges and magistrates to use • Apply the law within the framework set up by parliament • Set specific sentences for individual offenders • Correctional authorities (e.g. prisons) – control offenders after sentencing • Adult Parole Board – supervises offenders who are on parole Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  4. Where is sentencing law found? • Sentencing Act 1991 • Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 • Common law – previous court judgments • Various Acts and Regulations creating particular offences, for example: • Crimes Act 1958 deals with a range of crimes, including injury offences • Road Safety Act 1986 deals with a range of driving offences, including drink driving and drug driving Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  5. Types of sentences Most severe • Imprisonment • Drug treatment order • Community correction order • Fine • Adjourned undertaking Least severe Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  6. 2. Sentencing theory What must a judge consider when deciding what sentence to impose? Source: Victorian Sentencing Manual, Judicial College of Victoria Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  7. Just punishment Community protection Deterrence PURPOSES OF SENTENCING Denunciation Rehabilitation Purposes of sentencing These are the ONLY purposes for which sentences can be given Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Sentencing Act 1991 s 5(1)

  8. Parsimony ~ extreme care when imposing punishment ~ Where a choice of punishment exists,the judge should take care to choosethe least severe option that will achieve the purposes of sentencing Example - If there is a choice between imposing a fineor a community correction order, a fine should be imposedprovided it meets the purposes of sentencing Principle of parsimony Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Sentencing Act 1991 ss 5(3)(7)

  9. Factors that must be considered Factors that must be consideredwhen sentencing Maximum penalty & current sentencing practices Type of offence & how serious Circumstancesof the offender Victim Aggravating or mitigating factors Relevant Acts of Parliament & previouscourt decisions Factors making the crime worse, intention, effects, method, motive, weapons, role the offender played Prior offences, age, character,& mental state.Alcohol, drug, orgambling addiction. Personal crisis, guilty plea Impact of crime on victim (e.g. psychological or physical trauma), material or financial loss Factors that increase or lessen theseriousnessof the crime Victim Impact Statement Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Sentencing Act 1991 s 5(2)

  10. Victim Impact Statements If a court finds a person guilty, a victim of the offence may make a Victim Impact Statement (VIS) A VIS contains details of any injury, loss, or damage suffered by the victim as a direct result of the offence A person who has made a VIS can request that it be read aloud during the sentencing hearing Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  11. How long is a sentence? • Cumulativesentences for two or more crimes that run one after the other, e.g. two x five-year prison sentences served cumulatively = 10 years in prison • Concurrentsentences for two or more crimes that run at the same time, e.g. two x five-year prison sentences served concurrently = five years in prison • The total effective sentence (TES) (or head sentence)  the total imprisonment sentence for all offences within a case, after orders making sentences cumulative or concurrent Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  12. Non-parole period • Parole is the prisoner’s release from prison before the end of his or her total possible prison sentence, subject to conditions (e.g. regular reporting to a parole officer) • A non-parole period: • is set by the court • is the part of the sentence that must be served in prison • must be set by the court for sentences of two years or more • may or may not be set for sentences of one to two years • is not set if the sentence is less than one year Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  13. What isarmed robbery? What is themaximum penalty? 3. The crime and the time Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  14. Armed robbery A person is guilty of armed robbery if he or she commits any robbery and at the time has with him or her a firearm, imitation firearm, offensive weapon, explosive, or imitation explosive. A person guilty of armed robbery is guilty of an indictable offence Maximum penalty The maximum penalty for armed robbery is Level 2 imprisonment (maximum 25 years’imprisonment) and/or a fine of 3,000 penalty units Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Crimes Act 1958 s 75A(1)(2)

  15. Armed robbery  people sentenced Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  16. Armed robbery  sentence types Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  17. Age & gender of people sentenced Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  18. Total effective sentence & non-parole period Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  19. What are the facts of this case? 4. The case Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  20. The offender Bradley Flint is 19 years old He was 18 at the time of the offence He has been found guilty of one count ofarmed robbery Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  21. The crime 1 • Bradley went into his local milkbar, took a can of soft drink from the fridge, and went to the counter • He took a knife from his pocket, pointed it at the female shopkeeper, and said, ‘Money, quickly!’ • The shopkeeper took a $10 note from the cash register • Bradley grabbed the $10 and ran from the store with the can of soft drink Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  22. The crime 2 • Bradley ran down a laneway near the store • He hid the knife behind a wall • He caught a bus home, using the $10 note to buy his bus ticket • He was arrested soon after and taken to the local police station • At the police station, he was charged with armed robbery Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  23. Factors for consideration • Bradley was 18 when he committed the offence • He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity • He has four prior juvenile convictions for theft,driving offences, and cannabis possession • Bradley had an unstable home life. His parents separated when he was five years old • He is a regular cannabis user, a habit he startedwhen he was 11 years old • He left school after Year 11 and worked briefly as an apprentice bricklayer. He is now unemployed Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  24. What sentence would you give? 5. The sentence Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Photo: Department of Justice & Regulation

  25. You decide … • What sentence would you give? • If imprisonment, what would be the total effective sentence and the non-parole period? • If a community correction order, what would be the length of the order? • If a fine, what would be the amount of the fine? Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  26. The maximum penalty Armed robbery A person found guilty of armed robbery is liable to Level 2 imprisonment and/or fine Maximum 25 years and/or 3,000 penalty units • Bradley Flint is guilty of one count of armed robbery and could receive: • possible maximum imprisonment of 25 years • possible maximum fine of 3,000 penalty units Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Crimes Act 1958 s 75A(1)(2)

  27. What the judge decided Bradley Flint’s case, County Court Two years community correction order Conditions report to a community corrections worker for supervision attend treatment for alcohol and drug addiction complete 100 hours of unpaid community work Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015

  28. 6. Conclusion • Effective sentencing achieves a balance between the interests of society, the concerns of the victim, and the best interests of the offender • The more information society has about crimes and the people involved in them, the more reasonable it is in its demands about sentencing Sentencing Advisory Council, 2015 Photo: Department of Justice & Regulation