Charges: Aggravated sexual intercourse without consent x 2; Form 1 attached to count 1.
Facts: The then 21-year-old female offender was pregnant and living in a de-facto relationship with the male co-accused. She assisted the male co-accused to rape her 17-year-old sister on multiple occasions.
Issues: Sentence to be imposed.
Decision and reasoning: A Community Corrections Order for 2 years was made.
Aside from pure objective considerations, there were a number of factors which, likely individually and certainly in combination, powerfully diminished the offender’s moral culpability. Those factors included:
The court rejected the prosecution’s submission that the offender played an important role in restraining the victim and encouraging the victim’s compliance. This was in light of the objective reality of the circumstances and particularly taking into account the offender’s particular compromises including:
Due to the offender’s diminished moral culpability, she was an inappropriate vehicle for general deterrence and her circumstances meant specific deterrence had no substantial operation. The offender had to be made accountable for her actions but had accepted criminal responsibility for her conduct. While her guilty plea was late, this seemed directly connected to complications or delays in advising her properly without first ensuring her intellectual and psychological capacity was properly explored and exposed (as opposed to any reluctance to accept responsibility). The offender was genuinely remorseful. At the time of the offending she was young and vulnerable. She was unlikely to re-offend.