Sentencing Bench Book Update 56 published

Update 56, November 2023

Update 56 amends the Bench Book to update and revise various chapters, and incorporate recent case law and legislative developments. The following chapters have been revised:

Intensive correction orders (ICOs) (alternative to full-time imprisonment)

  • [3-660] Pronouncement of ICO by court, terms and commencement to add a cross-reference to [3-620] Restrictions on power to make ICO.

Suspended sentences

The chapter at [5-700]ff has been removed.

Setting terms of imprisonment

  • [7-508] Appellate review of an aggregate sentence has been removed and added to [70-000] Appeals.
  • [7-516Giving effect to finding of special circumstances to add reference to Sampson v R [2023] NSWCCA 239 as an example of a case where the judge did not err by imposing a non-parole period that, when considered with existing sentences, exceeded the statutory ratio despite a finding of special circumstances.

Standard non-parole period offences — Pt 4 Div 1A

  • [7-930] Exclusions and inclusions from Pt 4 Div 1A to update a legislation reference.

Objective factors at common law

  • [10-000] Maximum penalty to clarify the discussion relating to consideration of the maximum penalty when sentencing.
  • [10-000] Factors relevant to assessing objective seriousness to update a cross-reference to [10-440] Youth.

Subjective matters at common law

  • [10-430]ff Advanced age to separate the commentary regarding advanced age and youth into new paragraphs at [10-430] Advanced age and [10-440] Youth.
  • [10-440] Youth to add a new paragraph with reference to Miller v R [2015] NSWCCA 86, TM v R [2023] NSWCCA 185, MJ v R [2010] NSWCCA 52, R v Sharrouf [2023] NSWCCA 137, IM v R [2019] NSWCCA 107, Howard v R [2019] NSWCCA 109, JT v R [2011] NSWCCA 128 regarding the specific principles to be applied when sentencing a young offender.
  • [10-460] Mental health or cognitive impairment and [10-470] Deprived background to add reference to Williams v R [2022] NSWCCA 15 regarding considerations of childhood social deprivation and mental disorders in sentencing.
  • [10-490] Hardship to family/dependents to clarify the principles relating to taking into account hardship to family and dependents.


  • [10-801] Introduction to add reference to Kiraz v R [2023] NSWCCA 177, Malouf v R [2019] NSWCCA 307, Baladjam v R [2018] NSWCCA 304, Why v R [2017] NSWCCA 101, Meager v R [2009] NSWCCA 215 and R v Araya [2005] NSWCCA 283 regarding the parity principle and comparison of sentences imposed on persons who were not co-offenders.
  • [10-810] Co-offenders convicted of different charges to add reference to Kiraz v R [2023] NSWCCA 177 and Quinn v The Queen (2011) 244 CLR 462 regarding the application of the parity principle where co-offenders are convicted of different charges.
  • [10-850] Crown appeals and parity to add reference to R v FF [2023] NSWCCA 186 regarding the application of the parity principle in Crown appeals.

Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987

  • [15-010] Guiding principles to add reference to TM v R [2023] NSWCCA 185 regarding youth as a mitigating factor on sentence and the assessment of moral culpability.

Sentencing Commonwealth offenders

  • The chapter at [16-000]ff has been updated and substantially revised, including references added to the following cases:
    • Ilic v R [2020] NSWCCA 300 and Chan v R [2023] NSWCCA 206, Hildebrand v R [2021] NSWCCA 9 regarding the relevant considerations in Part IB generally
    • Woods v R [2023] NSWCCA 37, Sabbah v R (Cth) [2020] NSWCCA 89, Totaan v R [2022] NSWCCA 75, Marai v R [2023] NSWCCA 224 regarding restrictions on sentences of imprisonment and commencement date
    • Sigalla v R [2021] NSWCCA 22 regarding s 16A(2) factors
    • Lloyd v R [2022] NSWCCA 18, Pritchard v R [2022] NSWCCA 130 and Giles-Adams v R [2023] NSWCCA 122 regarding the degree to which contrition is shown: s 16A(2)(f)
    • Assi v R [2021] NSWCCA 181 regarding failure to comply with legal obligations relating to pre-trial or ongoing disclosure: s 16A(2)(fa)
    • Weber v R [2020] NSWCCA 103 and Mason (a pseudonym) v R [2023] VSCA 75 regarding co-operation with law enforcement agencies: ss 16A(2)(h) and 16AC
    • Lazarus v R [2023] NSWCCA 214 regarding general deterrence: s 16A(2)(ja)
    • Azari v R [2021] NSWCCA 199 regarding need for adequate punishment: s 16A(2)(k)
    • Eakin v R [2020] NSWCCA 294, TM v R [2023] NSWCCA 185, DS v R; DM v R (2022) 109 NSWLR 82, R v Eaton [2023] NSWCCA 125, Camilleri v R [2023] NSWCCA 106, Williams v R [2022] NSWCCA 15, CW v R [2022] NSWCCA 50 regarding character, antecedents, age, means and physical or mental condition: s 16A(2)(m)
    • Sigalla v R [2021] NSWCCA 22 and Darke v R [2022] NSWCCA 52 regarding prospects of rehabilitation: s 16A(2)(n)
    • Holt v R (Cth) [2021] NSWCCA 14, R v Hausman [2022] NSWCCA 24 regarding cumulative, partly cumulative or concurrent sentences of imprisonment: s 19
    • Stanley v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2023] HCA 3 regarding additional sentencing alternatives: s 20AB
    • Nweke v R (No 2) [2020] NSWCCA 227 regarding revocation of parole or licence

Fraud offences in NSW

  • The chapter at [19-930]ff has been updated and substantially revised, including references added to the following cases:
    • Subramaniam v R [2013] NSWCCA 159 regarding taking into account a mental condition as a mitigating factor in sentencing
    • Totaan v R [2022] NSWCCA 75 and Sabbah v R (Cth) [2020] NSWCCA 89 regarding the importance of general deterrence, and full-time imprisonment
    • Singh v R [2020] NSWCCA 353 regarding sentencing of youth for fraud offences
    • Abellanoza v R [2021] NSWCCA 4, Cordoba v R [2021] NSWCCA 144, Meis v R [2022] NSWCCA 118 and R v Edelbi [2021] NSWCCA 122 regarding factors to be considered in assessing the objective seriousness of the offence
    • Arvinthan v R [2022] NSWCCA 44 regarding s 21A Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and fraud offences
    • Clinton v R [2018] NSWCCA 66 and Whyte v R [2019] NSWCCA 218 and Lee v R [2019] NSWCCA 15 regarding consideration of aggravating factors
    • DPP (Cth) v De La Rosa [2010] NSWCCA 194, Upadhyaya v R [2017] NSWCCA 162, Miller v R [2014] NSWCCA 34, R v Zerafa [2013] NSWCCA 222 and Giourtalis v R [2013] NSWCCA 216 regarding mitigating factors in sentencing for fraud cases
    • Bazouni v R [2021] NSWCCA 256, Selkirk v R [2020] NSWSC 1590, McLaren v R [2021] NSWCCA 12 and Kapua v R [2023] NSWCCA 14 regarding fraud offences and ss 192E–192H Crimes Act 1900
    • Lee v R [2019] NSWCCA 15, Islam v R [2020] NSWCCA 236 and Lou v R [2021] NSWCCA 120 regarding identity crime offences (ss 192J–192L Crimes Act 1900)
    • Aboud v R [2021] NSWCCA 77, R v Nakash [2017] NSWCCA 196, DPP (Cth) v Beattie [2017] NSWCCA 301, Elomar v R [2018] NSWCCA 224, Merhi v R [2019] NSWCCA 322, Noble v R [2018] NSWCCA 253, Tham v R [2020] NSWCCA 338, Sigalla v R [2021] NSWCCA 22, Nakhl v R (Cth) [2020] NSWCCA 201, Hayward v R (Cth) [2021] NSWCCA 63 regarding Commonwealth fraud offences.


  • The chapter at [20-000]ff has been updated and substantially revised. A Table setting out the various offences and penalties for “robbery” in Part 4, Div 2 Crimes Act 1900 has been added at [20-210] The statutory scheme. References have been added to the following cases:
    • Melaisis v R [2018] NSWCCA 184 regarding the De Simoni principle and s 95 Crimes Act
    • Harris v R [2021] NSWCCA 322 and Foaiaulima v R [2020] NSWCCA 270 regarding significant changes to the statutory and common law since the R v Henry guideline judgment
    • Barnes v R [2022] NSWCCA 40 regarding the seriousness of the offending where the offender was armed with a dangerous weapon
    • Antonio v R [2008] NSWCCA 213 regarding s 21A(2)(b) offences where the offence involved the actual or threatened use of violence
    • Calhoun (a pseudonym) v R [2018] NSWCCA 150 regarding the involvement of a high level of violence affecting the objective seriousness of the offending and the offender’s criminality
    • Hiron v R [2018] NSWCCA 10 regarding the parity principle where co-offenders are broadly involved in a joint criminal enterprise
    • Cummins v R [2019] NSWCCA 163 regarding Form 1 offences
    • R v El Sayah [2018] NSWCCA 64 regarding vulnerable victims
    • Tammer-Spence v R [2021] NSWCCA 90 regarding offending in a custodial setting.
    • IS v R [2017] NSWCCA 116 and Edwards v R [2021] NSWCCA 57 regarding an offender’s deprived background and the application of the principles in Bugmy v The Queen (2013) 249 CLR 571
    • Gardiner v R [2018] NSWCCA 27 regarding rehabilitation
    • Yildiz v R [2020] NSWCCA 69 regarding an offender’s youth and relative maturity
    • Dungay v R [2020] NSWCCA 209 regarding Children’s Court criminal histories of adult offenders.

Commonwealth drug offences

  • [65-130] Objective factors relevant to all Commonwealth drug offences to add reference to Giles-Adams v R [2023] NSWCCA 122 regarding the role of the offender and level of participation.


  • [70-035] Appellate review of an aggregate sentence to add commentary removed from [7-508] above and to add reference to Lee v R [2020] NSWCCA 244 and Kresovic v R [2018] NSWCCA 37 regarding the principles to have regard to in determining whether an aggregate sentence is manifestly excessive.
  • [70-090] Purpose and limitations of Crown appeals to add reference to Kaminic v R [2014] NSWCCA 116 regarding the assessment of objective seriousness in Crown appeals, and DPP (NSW) v TH [2023] NSWCCA 81 regarding appeals of aggregate sentences on the grounds of manifest excess.