Written by Andrew Fraser
June 9, 2016
Matters of theft and fraud from a person’s workplace are treated very seriously by the courts, as a recent ACT Supreme Court case shows.
The recent judgment by Justice Burns involved a person who admitted taking more than $1.4 million in eight separate transactions over a 15-month period.
As the employer was a Federal Government agency, the eight charges of theft were brought under the Commonwealth Criminal Code.
Each carried a maximum prison term of 10 years.
There are many related charges, under Commonwealth, and state and territory law, to cover a wide variety of dishonesty offences.
There are many considerations to be taken into account at sentence.
In the matter before Justice Burns, the court explored many of them, and was assisted by a Pre-Sentence Report compiled by Corrective Services and also by the tendering of a number of comparable cases.
In his decision, the judge took note of many factors, including the following:
Justice Burns said, “The most important sentencing considerations for these offences are general deterrence and the need for punishment.
“I take into account your prior good character, but the weight to be given to that circumstance is reduced by the nature of your offending. You were only trusted as you were and placed in a position to commit these crimes because of your apparent good character.
“Having considered all relevant circumstances, I consider your prospects for rehabilitation to be reasonable to good.”
The Judge said he had received considerable help from the comparable cases tendered.
He did not mention if either the Prosecution or Defence had made written submissions.
The offender was sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years.
If you are facing a dishonesty charge from the plethora of legislation in the area, you should get advice from a criminal law specialist.
The team at Armstrong Legal regularly appear in these types of matters at sentence in the Local Court of NSW and the ACT Magistrates Court as well as, for the more serious matters, in the District Court of NSW and the ACT Supreme Court, where they always prepare written submissions as well as oral argument to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.