DPP v Hammoud [2016] VCC 844

Sentence summary: Deception

Over six years the offenders obtained or purchased 51 cars, wound back the cars’ odometers by between 100,000km and 200,000km and then sold them for higher prices than he had paid and the vehicles were worth. In 21 instances the offender supplied falsified service books to support the deception. The offender obtained $937,510 in cash, approximately $200,000 of which was a net gain.

The offender pleaded guilty to one charge of obtaining property by deception.

The judge noted that although there was only one charge before him, it was a charge that represented a substantial and sustained course of criminal conduct.

The judge found that the offender’s moral culpability was very high, particularly as he was motivated by greed rather than need, and because he continued to offend when he had many opportunities to consider what he was doing and after he had been fined $2,000 for similar offences in 2011.

The offender was entitled to a sentence reduction because of his guilty plea and his assistance to police during the investigation. The offenders also offered to enter into a compensation scheme with the victims, however the judge found it difficult to see how such compensation would materialise.

The judge took into account the offender’s substantial risk of deportation at the end of the sentence and his depression, anxiety and trichotillomania (a hair pulling disorder).

However the judge found that the offence demanded a significant term of imprisonment – because of the substantial financial and emotional suffering the offender had caused to multiple victims, and also because his deception had undermined the public’s confidence in the second-hand car market.

The offender was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2018