High Court of Australia

The Queen v Guode [2020] HCA 8

18 Mar 2020

Case Number: M75/2019

Before

KIEFEL CJ, GAGELER, NETTLE, GORDON, EDELMAN JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Sentence – Irrelevant consideration – Where respondent pleaded guilty to murder contrary to common law and to infanticide and attempted murder contrary to ss 6(1) and 321M of Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) respectively – Where primary judge sentenced respondent to 26 years and six months' imprisonment with non-parole period of 20 years – Where Court of Appeal allowed appeal against sentence and re-sentenced respondent to 18 years' imprisonment with non-parole period of 14 years – Where respondent's mental condition at time of offending called for application of principles stated in R v Verdins (2007) 16 VR 269 – Where element of offence of infanticide included disturbance of balance of mind – Where infanticide carried significantly shorter maximum penalty than offences of murder and attempted murder – Whether Court of Appeal erred by evaluating appropriateness of sentences imposed for murder and attempted murder in light of lesser maximum penalty for offence of infanticide.

Words and phrases – "acceptance of a plea", "attempted murder", "disturbance of mind", "impaired mental functioning", "infanticide", "irrelevant consideration", "manifestly excessive", "mental condition", "mitigating factors", "moral culpability", "murder", "sentencing", "sentencing considerations", "specific error", "Verdins considerations".

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) – ss 3, 6(1), 321P(1)-(1A).
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