Area of Law – Sentencing

An Article about Parole and effect on sentencing

On parole when sentenced
This issue is a fairly complicated one and was addressed in;

R v Piacentino; R v Ahmad [2007] VSCA 49 (23 March 2007)

Essentially, it states that where an offender has already been dealt with by the Parole Board, and is serving a parole sentence at the time of his later sentencing, then he gains the benefit of the totality principle.

However, for a person for whom the Parole Board had not yet acted, the principle does not apply.

The disadvantage that this may cause people is considered to be fairly remote.

They do indicate that they believe that the Parole Board, if they are revoking parole at a time subsequent to the sentencing for the offences constituting the breach should be aware that the sentencing judge did not moderate sentence, by having regard to the possibility that the Board would so act.

“The Parole Board has a wide jurisdiction under the Corrections Act, and the Court may not attempt to influence its discretion. However, and without intending to fetter the discretion of the Parole Board in any way, I observe that the Board might itself have regard to the factor of totality when making decisions as to the further release of the offender on parole.[56] It should not therefore be presumed, that an offender who has been denied any ameliorating benefit of the Orphanides principle has therefore been disadvantaged in comparison to a co-offender, who had had totality taken into account when he was sentenced.

However, if it be the case that unfairness will result, that possibility can not sweep to one side the plain language of s 5(2AA), and the situation could only be reversed by legislation.”


Date: 09/01/2009