14 October 2019


International Cases

Foale v. The State of Western Australia

Australia

22.08.2019

Criminal

Court can refuse bail pending sentence where Applicant has been convicted of a serious offence that is very likely to result in a sentence of immediate imprisonment for a significant term

The Applicant is a 33 year old man who was found guilty for possession of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, contrary to Section 6(1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1981. The learned trial judge, Birmingham DCJ, adjourned sentencing until 9 August 2019. By his counsel, the applicant applied for bail pending sentencing. The learned trial judge refused the application and the applicant has made an application to this court. The learned trial judge said that the applicant's release on bail pending sentence would be 'wholly inappropriate'

The need to arrange one's affairs before serving a term of immediate imprisonment, as well as the difficulties associated with the preparation of an appeal from prison, are common to all persons who are being held in custody awaiting the disposition of an appeal. Further, the facts about the applicant's previous good character and the unlikelihood of his absconding, cannot, on their own, constitute such circumstances. These, too, are not exceptional. In some cases the strength of an appellant's case may go some way towards establishing exceptional circumstances but, as counsel for the respondent has pointed out, in this application there is no material upon which the court could make any assessment of that kind.

In a case in which the applicant has been convicted of a serious offence that is very likely to result in a sentence of immediate imprisonment for a significant term, as in this case, that fact alone will generally justify a refusal of bail pending sentence.

The low risk of offending that, the applicant seems to present, as well as the undoubted inconvenience that immediate imprisonment will cause to the applicant's preparation of his appeal, could not outweigh the other factors, namely the convictions for serious offences and the imminence of the sentence of immediate imprisonment. Application dismissed.

Tags : Serious offences Bail Grant

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