Charges: 1 x threaten to capture or distribute intimate images; 1 x use of a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence; 2 x indecency; 1 x sexual assault; 1 x common assault; 1 x stalking
Case type: Sentencing
Facts: The offender and victim were in a de facto relationship for approximately 6 years and have a daughter. Despite the breakdown of their relationship, they remained on amicable terms (). The offender was charged with a combination of Federal and Territory offences. The offender pleaded guilty to threatening to distribute an intimate image (Count 5) and using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence (Count 6). He was found guilty of 2 charges of committing an act of indecency (Counts 2 and 4) and a charge of sexual assault in the third degree (Count 3). A charge of common assault and stalking were transferred to the Court, which required consideration of the provisions on back-up and related offences in the Supreme Court Act 1933 (ACT) ().
Issue: The issue for the Court was to determine the appropriate sentence for the offences.
Held: The Court sentenced the offender to 3 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months for the Territory offences, and declined to make a recognizance release order with respect to the Federal offence as the offender would still be serving a period of imprisonment for the Territory offences after the expiration of that offence. The charge of common assault was dismissed.
The offender’s subjective circumstances were observed at -. He had 2 daughters from a previous marriage and worked as a self-employed technician prior to custody. However, he had not been working for the past 6 months due to mental health issues, and suffered financial distress as a result (). The offender reported infrequent social use of cannabis and his self-reported alcohol use was deemed ‘risky’ (). The offender showed some insight into the impact of his offending, but attempted to minimise and justify some of his actions (). The offender was also being treated for symptoms of depression ().
The Court did not attribute significant weight to the offender’s expression of remorse (-). He had no relevant criminal history and was of prior good character (-). He pleaded guilty to 2 charges before the trial commenced, and the 2 further transfer charges in the course of the sentencing hearing. Accordingly, the Court allowed a discount of approximately 10% in each case (-). The Court also considered the time spent in custody (-), and analysed relevant cases and statistics (-). At , the Court found that all the offences committed against the victim significantly impacted her. The Court also took into account the principles of totality, concurrency and accumulation (-), and relevant statutory considerations (-). Significantly, it was noted at  that the ‘Courts have made it clear that women must not be treated by men as property’.