The client had been charged with Possession of a Prohibited Weapon contrary to section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998. In this case, the weapon was an extendable baton, located after the client had his house raided by a Police strike force, investigating organized crime. The client was the victim of mis-information, and nothing adverse was found, other than this one item, found under a bed. The client was, nevertheless, charged with an offence which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail. The client needed to avoid having a conviction recorded in order to maintain his employment, installing emergency evacuation systems at hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The client also hoped for the minimum possible penalty, to alleviate the embarrassment caused in his community by having his house raided by Police.
The matter came before Blacktown Local Court. The Police Facts contained numerous allegations, which were irrelevant to the charge and would have been prejudicial in sentencing. After negotiating with the Prosecution to have the facts amended, the matter proceeded to sentence. Submissions were made as to why the objective seriousness of this offence was at the trivial end of the scale, and as to why the operation of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 mitigated the seriousness of this offence. The client had no previous criminal record, was of good character, was highly unlikely to re-offend, and pleaded guilty to the offence at the first available opportunity. Ultimately, the Magistrate determined that there was no point inflicting any punishment for the offence, as the offence was of a trivial nature. The offence was thus found proven, thought dismissed unconditionally, pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
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