May, 2017


Intention and importing a border controlled drug and the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Smith v The Queen; The Queen v Afford [2017] HCA 19

10 May, 2017

 Where an accused person intended to import a border controlled drug it is preferable (BUT not mandatory) for a trial judge to direct the issue of intention according to the statutory definition (in section 5.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code)


See the Judgment at paragraphs:


“68.     …. looking to the future it might be preferable if directions given in cases like these were made to align more closely to the language of the Code, and in particular to the statutory definition of intent….”

“ 69.    It goes without saying that directions must always be tailored to the issues in the case at hand and to the facts and circumstances which are relevant to the determination of the issues. It is not practicable or desirable to suggest anything in the nature of a template….”




April, 2017

Roads and Maritime Services v Staniforth [2017] NSWSC 158

Challenging the RMS decision where a driver’s licence subject to good behaviour conditions is imposed.

The Supreme Court of NSW has now confirmed that no appeal lies, presumably as of right, (where an automatic suspension of a driver’s licence occurs and the subsequent election for a good behaviour licence ,is made) and the licence holder then i.e. whilst being subject to good behaviour conditions commits an offence, carrying, the requisite number of demerit points.

March, 2017

Costello v R [2017] NSWCCA 32 

The appellate court allowed fresh evidence to be introduced on exceptional circumstances being established.

 Her Honour   Justice Monika Schmidt   :

At paragraph 34 “…. if the community’s proper expectations of punishment, retribution and deterrence were to be met, … the need to extend mercy, in the truly exceptional circumstances which have only come to light …since Mr Costello was sentenced. The result is that both a somewhat lesser sentence and a shorter non parole period must be imposed….”


On 9 March, 1950 Timothy John Evans was executed as a result of being falsely accused of murdering his wife and daughter at their home at 10 Rillington Place, Noting Hill, London. He was ; tried, convicted and hanged. Serial killer John Christie confessed to 7 murders, including the wife of Tim Evans. On 15 July, 1953 he also hanged.

Tim Evans was granted a royal pardon in October, 1966 as a result of a second enquiry.

February, 2017

Re Culleton [No 2] [2017] HCA 4

Annulling a conviction

A Senator of the Parliament of Australia had been convicted, in his absence; in the Local Court of New South Wales of larceny .Upon return to the Local Court the conviction was annulled. In October 2016 the matter was again dealt with by the court. It then found the defendant guilty, on his own plea of then pleading guilty to the charge of larceny. The Local Court dismissed the charge without a conviction being recorded.

The High Court of Australia ruled that the effect of the provision is that an annulment does not operate retrospectively. It is effective as at the date it is annulled.



On 28 January, 1989, The peoples Republic of China executed Teng Xingshan via a bullet to the head for his alleged murder of the woman named Shi Xiaorong. This wrongful execution was an extreme embarrassment. Shi Xiaorong  was located in 2005, alive and well.

Teng Xinshang was posthumously exonerated in 2006.

December, 2016

Moore   V   R    [2016] NSWCCA 260

Is Dishonesty tantamount to  “deception” ?

Sections 192 E (1) (b), 192B (1) (b) of the NSW Crimes Act, 1900. The appellate court held insufficient evidence existed to satisfy the essential element of “deception”. The terms and conditions of the account allowed the bank to permit the account to be overdrawn. The Prosecution relied on the expanded definition of “deception”. Although the Appellant behaved dishonestly,”deception” was not proved.

November, 2016

The Crimes (Serious Crime Prevention Orders) Act, 2016

If one is involved with or convicted of a serious criminal offence or is involved in “serious crime related activity” the Supreme and District Courts can now make orders to prevent /restrict persons from being involved in certain crime related activities.


Her Honour Magistrate Ms. D. Pinch has recently retired.It was always a pleasure and privilege appearing before her. We wish her a ;long, healthy and happy retirement.


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