22 June 2018

DPP appeal leads to increased sentence for child sex offences

The jail term imposed on a man who was found guilty of having sex with a child under the age of 16 has been increased following an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Clinton James Osborne had pleaded not guilty in the County Court to two charges of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 years. A jury found him guilty and he was given an aggregate sentence of three years’ imprisonment.

In a separate trial, Osborne pleaded not guilty to one charge of false imprisonment and a single charge of indecent assault against a different complainant. He was acquitted by the jury on the indecent assault charge but was found guilty of false imprisonment and sentenced to nine months, which was added to the sentence from the first trial.

This resulted in a total effective sentence of three years and nine months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years and six months.

The DPP Kerri Judd QC appealed the aggregate three year sentence from the first trial on the ground that it was not open to the judge to impose an aggregate sentence, and that the sentence imposed was manifestly inadequate.

Osborne sought leave to appeal against his convictions at both trials, and against sentence, on the basis that he was unfit to stand trial, that his character had been improperly impugned and that the verdicts in the second trial were inconsistent.

The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed the Director’s appeal while refusing Osborne’s applications for leave to appeal. The Court resentenced him to a total effective term of five years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years.

The resentencing took into account the fact that Osborne had spent two years in custody on other charges of which he was ultimately acquitted.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal said the three year sentence was well below what was required considering Osborne was a repeat offender, had offended on bail and presented as being at risk of further sexual offending.

Read the judgment here.

For further information contact:

Danielle Alosi

03 9603 7858