Key Words: Possess prohibited drug, Section 10(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 – severity appeal – submissions on remorse and rehabilitation – non-conviction order, conditional on good behaviour bond, Section 10(1)(b) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999
UDJ charged with possession of a prohibited drug (a small amount of cocaine) after police searched him at a nightclub. UDJ was cooperative throughout the search. His cooperation continued in court: UDJ plead guilty to the charge at the earliest possible opportunity. Even with this cooperation, UDJ was fined $500 and his conviction was recorded. UDJ instructed the defence to appeal the sentence.
The defence appealed the sentence on the grounds of severity. During the appeal hearing, the defence focused on UDJ’s contrition and frank admissions of guilt. It was also submitted that UDJ was now halfway through completing a rehabilitation course to deal with his alcohol abuse. Based on these submissions, the presiding judge downgraded UDJ’s sentence to a non-conviction order, conditional on a successful completion of a good behaviour bond.