21 Aug

Case Note – Parole Delay on Sentences.

In GSB v Commissioner of Police [2021] QDC 196, His Honour, Judge Rinaudo AM DCJ adopted the approach of Judge Cash QC in R v Eru-Guthrie [2021] QDC 174 in sentencing an offender who committed further offences while on parole. The notorious delay with the Queensland Parole Board has caused considerable difficulties for sentencing Courts.

At the time of committing the offence the subject of the appeal, the Appellant was on parole for previous offending. Pursuant to s 209 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld), when he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment his parole was taken to have been cancelled.

Sentencing while on Parole – The Law

S 160B(2) of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) provides that “if the offender had a court ordered parole order cancelled under the Corrective Services Act 2006, section 205 or 209 during the offender’s period of imprisonment, the court must fix the date the offender is eligible for parole.

As such, if sentencing the appellant to an actual term of imprisonment, the sentencing Magistrate was required to impose a parole eligibility date.


In my view the sentencing Magistrate fell into error by imposing a sentence which was manifestly excessive given the nature of the offending on this occasion, failing to have proper regard to the mitigating factors, placing too much weight on the appellant’s history, and that the effect of the sentence, because of parole board delays, was that the appellant was likely to serve almost all of the 12-month term imposed.

His Honour, Judge Rinaudo AM DCJ

Judge Rinaudo had regard to the notorious parole application delays as detailed in our earlier case note, Case Note – Impact of Parole Delay on Sentences. His Honour held that it was open to impose a suspended sentence and re-sentenced the Applicant to 6 months imprisonment suspended after serving 137 days pre-sentence custody for an operational period of 12 months


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