15 July 2015

Father pleads guilty in first matter to be sentenced under baseline sentencing laws

A father pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court today to charges involving multiple sexual offences against his daughter in what will be the first matter sentenced under the baseline sentencing scheme enacted last year.

The charges in the matter included four counts of incest, with a single count of incest committed after the commencement of the baseline scheme on 2 November 2014. Incest is one of seven offences subject to baseline sentencing under the Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Act 2014 when committed on or after 2 November 2014.

The matter would ordinarily be heard in the County Court; however the Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion S.C. uplifted it to the Supreme Court to obtain authoritative guidance on the interpretation of this significant new legislation.

Under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, the DPP can indict a matter in the Supreme or County Court, having regard to the complexity of the case, the seriousness of the alleged offence, any particular importance attaching to the case, and any other consideration he considers relevant.

Mr Champion said the Supreme Court could provide authoritative guidance on how baseline sentencing laws should be interpreted.

For further information contact:

Lisa Walker

03 9603 7493
0400 494 962