Area of Law – Sentencing

An Article about Disclosing a crime

Sentencing – disclosing the crime and making admissions (putting self in)
One of our clients drove himself to the Police Station to put himself in for drink driving. The Magistrate was very lenient on him.

In more serious matters it is obvious that if a crime can not be solved and a person comes forward to admit to it then it is great material for a plea of guilty. The Court will be as lenient as they can be depending on the circumstances of the offending itself.

Some case law on this issue is:

In R. v. Ellis (1986) NSWLR 603 at 604 Street, C.J. said:

“Where it was unlikely that guilt would be discovered and established were it not for the disclosure by the person coming forward to sentence, then a considerable element of leniency should properly be extended by the sentencing judge. It is part of the policy of the criminal law to encourage a guilty person to come forward and disclose both the fact of an offence having been committed and confession of guilt of that offence.”

His Honour went on to say that the disclosure “merits a significant added element of leniency”. In the present case I would proceed on the basis that the offence would not have come to light but for the appellant’s disclosure of it. As to the importance of a disclosure of crimes that otherwise would not be detected, see Ryan v. R. (2001) 206 C.L.R. 267, especially at 295; R. v. Brazel (2005) 153 A.Crim.R. 152; R. v. Doran [2005] VSCA 271.

R v D T R [2005] VSCA 291 (6 December 2005)


Date: 09/01/2009