Sentence summary: Deception
The offender worked as the IT manager of the Australian Lamb Company. Over a period of two years he ordered a large number of computers, mobile phones and other items using false or amended purchase orders which he took and on-sold, mostly to fund a gambling addiction. During this period he purchased equipment from nine different stores worth nearly $150,000. The offender pleaded guilty to two charges of obtaining property by deception.
The judge found that the breach of trust was very significant and that the duration and level of dishonesty and the amount stolen by the offender established that this was serious offending.
However, the judge also found that the offender had accepted full responsibility and had done all he could with his very limited resources to re-pay his ex-employee and the computer retailer that was out of pocket. He considered the offender’s remorseful attitude as a solid foundation for permanent reform.
The judge also took into account that the offender had never previously broken the law. The judge also considered the depression the offender had been suffering at the time, which followed his announcement to his wife (the mother of his young child) and broader family that he was gay.
This caused his family to disown and isolate the offender. The judge accepted that the offender had turned to gambling as a way of coping with his depression.
The judge noted that his key sentencing considerations were denunciation, deterrence and rehabilitation and that ordering imprisonment in this case would not satisfy all those purposes and would be less effective than an onerous and lengthy community corrections order.
The offender was placed on a four-year community corrections order that included conditions that he perform 280 hours of unpaid community work, that he undergo assessment and treatment for mental health issues, and that he engage in rehabilitation programs to reduce his risk of re-offending.