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- Unreported Judgment
CHILDRENS COURT OF QUEENSLAND
GJY v The Queen  QChC 1
Childrens Court at Mornington Island
31 January 2020 (ex tempore)
31 January 2020
Farr SC DCJ
CRIMINAL LAW – APPEAL – Youth Justice Act 1992 – section 118 – re-hearing on the merits, pursuant to section 122(1) – where the applicant pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assembly – continuation or participation after violence has occurred – where there was an application to extend time for the filing of the review – where the application for extension was granted – whether the sentence imposed was excessive and disproportional to the role the applicant played in the offending – where the applicant pleaded guilty and cooperated with the administration of justice – where the respondent agreed the sentence was excessive.
D Law for the applicant
S Rigby for the respondent
Legal Aid (Qld) for the applicant
Director of Public Prosecutions (Qld) for the respondent
- HIS HONOUR: This is an application for sentence review arising from a sentence on 9 October 2019 at the Mornington Island Children’s Court, where the applicant pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assembly – continuation or participation after violence has occurred. There was also an application to extend time for the filing of the review. It was out of time by a period of eight days. There is no opposition to the extension of time being sought and leave is granted for the extension of time for the filing of the application to 14 November 2019. In relation to the sentence review, the sentence imposed in the Court below was 20 hours of community service.
- No conviction was recorded. The facts in relation to the offence are that the applicant was a participant in a large altercation on Wellesley Island, which involved approximately 150 people. She was a participant in this fight, as it has been described, and was observed on CCTV footage punching and kicking. At the time, she and other participants were being encouraged by a large number of other members of the community. It was accepted that this incident occurred in the context of an intra-family dispute within the community. The applicant was 17 years old at the time of the offence and at the time of sentence, and she had a relevant criminal history, although for only one offence. That was in relation to a charge of common assault, for which she was reprimanded. No details about that offence are known.
- The review is conducted pursuant to – pardon me, section 118 of the Youth Justice Act and is to be conducted as a re-hearing on the merits, pursuant to section 122, sub-section (1) of that Act. It should be conducted as expeditiously and with as little formality as possible. And of course, the review in Court can have regard to the record of the Children’s Court proceeding and any further submissions or evidence by way of affidavit or other means. It has been submitted that the sentence imposed on this occasion was excessive in the circumstances. That submission is not opposed by the respondent.
- In fact, the respondent agrees in that regard. I note that one of the principles of the Youth Justice Act is for children to be held accountable and to accept responsibility for their actions, and that children should be given the opportunity, if appropriate, to develop in responsible, beneficial and socially accepted ways. The applicant submits that the Court would be satisfied in the circumstances that the sentence imposed was excessive in that it was disproportional to the role she played in the offending conduct. And when that is taken into account, together with the fact that she pleaded guilty and cooperated with the administration of justice, the imposition of a good behaviour order would have been the appropriate order in the circumstances.
- The respondent – whilst agreeing, as I have indicated, that the sentence imposed was excessive – submits that an appropriate outcome would be for the order imposed below to be discharged and substituted with an order pursuant to section 163(1)(d)(i) of the Act for restorative justice processes. It is noted that for the earlier offence of common assault, the applicant was reprimanded. And the respondent submits, given her subsequent offending conduct the subject of this hearing, that a further – that a good behaviour bond would have no utility. I think that perhaps is placing matters a little highly. It seems to me that her involvement in this offending conduct was by and large born of behaviour of other older and more senior people, and that she was swept along in this melee.
- It may well be that she involved herself with some degree of enthusiasm. But it is quite apparent that there were many others, much older, who should have known better – who would have undoubtedly acted as a very persuasive influence in the behaviour of this young person. In those circumstances, I am of the view that a good behaviour bond would not be inappropriate and may well serve the purpose for which it is intended. On all the material before the court, I am satisfied that the sentence imposed below is excessive in the circumstances and ought be discharged. And that in lieu, the applicant be ordered to be subject to a good behaviour order for a period of six months. And that is the order of the Court.
- MR LAW: Thank you, your Honour.
- HIS HONOUR: Anything else necessary for that matter?
- MR LAW: No, your Honour.
- HIS HONOUR: Thank you.
- Published Case Name:
GJY v The Queen
- Shortened Case Name:
GJY v The Queen
 QCHC 1
Farr SC DCJ
31 Jan 2020