Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law
The Fitzgerald Inquiry | Crime & Corruption QLD | 1989 – The Fitzgerald report was tabled in Parliament in July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission and the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and reform of the Queensland Police Force. Download the report here: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry
Beyond Bethany | 3 Mar 2008 – Twenty years on Chris Masters assesses the Joh Bjelke-Petersen legacy. Watch Online
The Moonlight State | 11 May 1987 – Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over 100 convictions and the police commissioner being jailed. Watch Online
“The Joke” was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies, and brothels in QLD for more than a decade, probably decades
Updated June 12, 2017 14:19:00
It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.
“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator
There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one
Breaking the Brotherhood – Monday 12 June 2017
“‘Break his camera and break his mouth too!’ was the order.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)
It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.
“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator
There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one.
“There were times that I actually feared for my life and for the life of my family. It was clear to me that we had institutionalised corruption taking place.” Undercover Operative
A small band of brave crime fighters, and their families, took the enormous risk to trust a journalist with the State’s darkest secrets. The result was ‘The Moonlight State’, perhaps the most explosive true story ever told on Australian television.
“There is another side to the Sunshine State. Despite some wholesome attempts to pretend otherwise, the Queensland Government has not managed to stop the devil at the border. In the Sunshine State, sex is a great little earner.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)
Chris Masters’ landmark report prompted one of the most important anti-corruption investigations in Australian history, the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which led to the jailing of the Queensland Police Commissioner.
But the whole story of how the whistle was blown has never fully been told. Now the key players who put their trust in Chris Masters have come forward to tell their story, on camera, for the first time.
“I’m sitting there with my wife at home, because I knew when it was going to air, and I’m watching it. And I had this silly grin on my face, but it was also teary because we actually made it, we survived. The story got to air.” Whistleblower
“I believe that fate brought (us) together and that something had to be done.” Undercover Operative
The program also reveals the shocking lengths corrupt police went to, to try to silence the whistleblowers, and reporter Chris Masters.
“My son had been walking home from school and a car had pulled up beside him and told him that his father was going to be killed.” Undercover Police Officer
“Things got very scary, and a very powerful syndicate of organised criminals and corrupt police realised that they had an illicit empire to protect and they started to play nasty.” Chris Masters
Thirty years on from ‘The Moonlight State’, leading law enforcement figures warn that every police force today must remember the lessons of those dark days so they can never be repeated.
Breaking the Brotherhood, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th June at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 14th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.
First posted June 12, 2017 13:43:00
Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force
To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.
“I’ll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn’t want to do the job,” he said.
But an order was an order.
It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.
He wasn’t at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.
“It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris’s safety,” said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP’s secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.
“So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris.”
‘We were being watched and shadowed’
Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as “the Joke”.
What was the Joke?
The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.
In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.
Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.
In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.
Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.
The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.
Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.
Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland’s first anti-corruption body.
Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.
It was worth millions, and the Joke’s tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.
In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane’s red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.
His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.
“We were being watched and shadowed,” Masters recalled.
“I didn’t really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me.”
Mr Moore says he first met Masters “up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]”.
“It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road,” he said.
“We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force.”
As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.
“They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up,” said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.
“The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters’ hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him.”
Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.
“I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He’d heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me,” Masters said.
“But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn’t in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney.”
The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.
It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as “the Bagman”.
Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.
He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.
Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.
On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.
“The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police,” Condon said.
“That’s what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism.”
For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.
“I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat,” he said.
“These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you’ve done your best, you’re pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins.”
That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.
Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.
As for Jack “the Bagman” Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.
Watch Four Corners’ Breaking the Brotherhood at 8:30pm on ABC and iView.
The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.
The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Policecorruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony FitzgeraldQC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia‘s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland.
The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners television report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. Both reports highlighted prostitution, gambling and possible police corruption. With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry the day after the television report was broadcast.
The allegations aired in the media were not new; they had surfaced from time to time and some news organisations had been forced to pay damages to aggrieved people who alleged their reputations had been damaged (Bjelke-Petersen himself was notoriously litigious in response to unfavourable press coverage). Ian Callinan drafted the terms of reference for the inquiry as well as appearing before it. While the terms of the inquiry were initially narrow, restricted only to the specific allegations raised against specific persons named in the media over a period of just five years, Fitzgerald used his moral authority to lever the inquiry into a position of being able to inquire into any relevant matter. The terms of reference for the Commission were extended twice.
This enabled him to set a new precedent for commissions of inquiry and Royal Commissions in Australia generally, using innovative methods such as indemnities from prosecution for key witnesses to secure vital evidence. The inquiry was initially expected to last about six weeks; it instead spent almost two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long-term, systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland. Public sittings were held on 238 days, hearing testimony from 339 witnesses.
The inquiry would eventually outlive the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mike Ahern became the new Premier after Bjelke-Petersen was deposed by his own party. Evidence revealed by the investigation (including testimony from Bjelke-Petersen himself) caused significant political damage and an internal power struggle within the National Party, resulting in Bjelke-Petersen resigning as Premier after his unsuccessful attempt to have the Governor of Queensland sack all of his ministers after they deposed him as party leader.
The inquiry’s special prosecutor was Doug Drummond QC. It was Drummond who decided not to retry Bjelke-Petersen after the hung jury.
Fitzgerald’s report was submitted on 3 July 1989. Based on the inquiry’s final report, a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.
Bjelke-Petersen himself was charged with perjury in respect of evidence given to the inquiry. The jury in the case remained deadlocked, bringing about a mistrial. In 1992 it was revealed that the jury foreman, Luke Shaw, was a member of the Young Nationals, was identified with the “Friends of Joh” movement and had misrepresented the state of deliberations to the judge. According to an ABC TV analysis, “A later inquiry conducted by Justice Bill Carter found the selection process had been manipulated by …ex-police officers …helping to put Joh before a jury led by Young Nationals member, Luke Shaw.” A special prosecutor announced in 1992 there would be no retrial because Sir Joh, then aged 81, was too old.
Jack Herbert had been the bagman, collecting bribes for police commissioner Terry Lewis from 1980. Lewis himself had been a bagman for former commissioner Francis Bischof. Lewis was convicted (and subsequently stripped of his knighthood).
Leisha Harvey former health minister, was charged with misappropriating of public funds as part of an investigation resulting from the findings of the inquiry. She spent one year in jail.Don Lane, former transport minister, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for falsifying expense accounts. Lane’s resignation resulted in the 1989 Merthyr state by-election. Brian Austin, another former health minister, was convicted of misappropriating public funds. Hinze’s resignation led to the 1988 South Coast state by-election.
The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested) and investigating and harassing political opponents. It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them.
The two most significant recommendations were the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission which was to review electoral boundaries. The need for Freedom of Information legislation in the state was noted, as was the need to review laws relating to public assembly and guidelines for the disclosure of pecuniary interests of parliamentarians. The CJC was to be responsible for investigating specific individuals mentioned during the inquiry.
The police culture of the state was also criticised. Aspects such as loyalty to fellow police officers, police not enforcing laws against other police and criticism of other police being impermissible[clarification needed] were condemned because they led to misconduct, inefficiency and contempt for the justice system. Many of the inquiry’s recommendations were implemented by Wayne Goss, the first Labor Party Premier of Queensland in 32 years.
Bjelke-Petersen’s trial was later the subject of a TV movie, “Joh’s Jury“.
FOR more than three decades, Queensland Police simply called it “The Joke”.
And for the crooked cops who were in on it, along with a cavalcade of pimps, gamblers, prostitutes, drug dealers and politicians, being part of the punchline was lucrative business.
When The Courier-Mail finally exposed the system of corrupt payments with the landmark reporting of journalist Phil Dickie in 1987, it was clear the operation had penetrated the highest echelons and darkest recesses of life in the Sunshine State.
The main beneficiaries were the police. Courier-Mail journalist Matt Condon, who has written a best-selling trilogy about that era, wrote The Joke was an “elaborate, multi-million dollar scheme of kickbacks from illegal gambling, SP bookmakers, brothels and escort services”.
At its zenith in the mid- 1980s, the system’s meticulous bookkeeper Jack “the Bagman” Herbert was raking in so much cash he was running out of places to store it in his luxury, riverfront apartment at East Brisbane.
By 1987, he was channelling about $56,000 a month to police to protect SP bookmakers, casino and brothel operators from any serious law enforcement.
By then, the system was brazenly operating in the open, secure in its institutional hold on the police force and protection from the National Party government of then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
Dickie’s investigative skills eventually shattered The Joke’s sense of impunity as he exposed the chain of money flowing to the police’s notorious Licensing Branch.
Reports in The Courier-Mail and an expose by ABC journalist Chris Masters on Four Corners led to the Fitzgerald inquiry, which finally finished The Joke in 1989 as three government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis were jailed.
In the final instalment of his trilogy, All Fall Down, Condon details a 1984 document written by serving police that provided forensic insight into The Joke’s structure, operation, breadth and membership.
It traced the system back to the 1950s, when the force was riven by factional fighting between Irish Catholics and the Masons.
The Joke then flourished under Frank Bischoff, who was commissioner from 1958 to 1969. Bischoff initiated Lewis, who was a young detective at the time, into the system and groomed him as a future successor.
Lewis readily accepted his new duties, becoming one of the notorious Rat Pack, which included Herbert and detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan.
Murphy, who later rose to be assistant commissioner, allegedly coined the term The Joke and ensured that the Rat Pack controlled its operations. He was known as The Godfather.
The rest of The Joke operated as a series of autonomous cells led by an officer known as a “control”. Controls answered to another control on the level above them but would not deal with any other person, insulating the Rat Pack from being exposed. Citing the document, which was sent to then opposition police spokesman Kevin Hooper, Condon said the Rat Pack used police resources to corrupt politicians, government departments and leaders of industry.
“Illegal tapping of phones and use of sophisticated electronic surveillance gear, control of illegal gambling, prostitution at all levels and the keeping of comprehensive files on citizens of prominence are all ways in which this group of men are able to get appointed to high rank in the department,” the document said.
“There is not a level of society that these men do not have contacts and informants who work for them either through fear of exposure or for monetary gain.”
More to follow with news a senior journo Steve Barrett being allegedly involved with a blackmail plot with a member of the conspiracy Daniel Rostankovski who was allegedly aggrieved he was not getting his fair share…See down for more details
ATO deputy allegedly sought to seek a deal for son in $165 m tax fraud,,, Mr Cranston has been issued a future court attendance notice for the charge of abusing his position as a public official. He is due to appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 13.
His son, Adam Cranston, 30, and his daughter, Lauren Anne Cranston, 24, have also been charged following an eight-month investigation, codenamed Operation Elbrus.
It’s alleged ATO deputyMichael Cranston accessed restricted information on an ATO audit for his son, but police do not believe he knew about his son’s alleged fraud syndicate.
Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close said the syndicate appeared to use the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.
Among the items seized under proceeds of crime were 25 motor vehicles, including luxury cars and racing cars, 12 motorbikes, 18 residential properties, two aircraft, $1 million from a safe deposit box, firearms, jewellery, bottles of Grange wine and artworks.
ATO Second Commissioner Andrew Mills said two other ATO officers were also being investigated internally for a potential code of conduct breaches. It’s believed they tried to look up information on the ATO’s audit at the behest of Michael Cranston….Robbo
Police will allege the group had a lavish lifestyle and diverted taxpayer funds to buy planes, sports cars, jewellery, property, artwork and fine wines.
As part of the operation, officers have seized:
25 motor vehicles
$15 million in bank accounts
18 residential properties
$1 million in a safe deposit box
Acting AFP deputy operations commissioner Leanne Close said the ATO got involved in the investigation when alleged evidence of fraud mounted.
Adam Cranston leaves the Sydney Police Centre in Surry Hills after receiving bail AAP-Paul Miller
Adam Cranstons racing car-wedding car about to be confiscated
A light aircraft seized by police as part of their investigation. AFP
Adam Cranston has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth.
$1 million cash was seized from a safe deposit box by the AFP in yesterday’s raid.
Veteran Sydney journalist Steve Barrett allegedly blackmailed tax syndicate
By Rachel Olding
A veteran Sydney journalist allegedly blackmailed members of a $165 million tax fraud syndicate after conspirators in the group had a falling out, it can be revealed.
Explosive documents tendered in Central Local Court on Thursday state that well-known television journalist and former crime reporter Steve Barrett allegedly blackmailed two members of the syndicate during a meeting at the offices of Clamenz Lawyers on February 1st 2017
Eight people were arrested on Thursday over the alleged tax fraud syndicate including Adam and Laura Cranston, the son and daughter of Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston.
Michael Cranston has also been issued a future court attendance notice for a charge of abusing his position as a public official.
The police documents reveal that one syndicate member, Daniel Rostankovski, turned on other conspirators and allegedly tried to extort money from them.
At the February 1 meeting, Mr Rostankovski and Mr Barrett allegedly threatened to expose the conspiracy in the media if money wasn’t handed over.
“Police allege … Rostankovski and Barrett attempted to blackmail the co-conspirators in relation to their involvement in the conspiracy,” the police documents state.
Mr Rostankovski allegedly demanded $5 million or Mr Barrett would expose the group in the media.
Mr Rostankovski felt like he had been deceived by the group as other members were receiving more money than him.
The group allegedly agreed to their demands if he didn’t go to the media, the police or the ATO. An agreement was signed that outlined such undertakings, the police documents reveal.
Mr Rostankovski, a 28-year-old from Waterloo, was granted strict bail in Central Local Court on Thursday. Mr Barrett has not been charged. He did not return Fairfax Media’s calls on Thursday.
Barrett, who previously worked for 60 Minutes, was a long-time employee as a producer in the Channel 7 newsroom but left the network in March 2016, before the alleged blackmail took place.
Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close said the syndicate appeared to use the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.
Among the items seized under proceeds of crime were 25 motor vehicles, including luxury cars and racing cars, 12 motorbikes, 18 residential properties, two aircraft, $1 million from a safe deposit box, firearms, jewellery, bottles of Grange wine and artworks.
ATO Second Commissioner Andrew Mills said two other ATO officers were also being investigated internally for potential code of conduct breaches. It’s believed they tried to look up information on the ATO’s audit at the behest of Michael Cranston.
The announcement came after nearly 300 police officers on Wednesday carried out raids across Sydney, Wollongong and the Southern Highlands, arresting nine people.
Among those who appeared in court on Thursday are Mr Rostankovski, 28, from Waterloo; Jason Cornell Onley, 47, from Vaucluse; Daniel Hausman, 47, from Woollahra; Christopher James Guillan, 46, from Sutherland; Dev Menon, 33, from Wahroonga and Devyn Hammon, 24, from Balgownie.
Police will allege in court that the syndicate members ran a legitimate payroll company, Plutus Payroll, and accepted money from legitimate clients to process payroll on their behalf.
“This money was transferred to seven sub-contracted companies known as Tier 2 companies, which then made payroll payments to individual workers or clients,” the federal police said in a statement.
Tax office investigators, who helped the federal police during the investigation, estimate the amount of tax obligations not paid to the tax office to be $165 million.
Mr Mills described Michael Cranston as one of the organisation’s “long-serving senior officers” who had “quite an illustrious [career] up until this point”.
Mr Mills said he was confident the tax office’s systems had not been compromised nor breached and the accused employees were not able to obtain any information.
“The investigation has so far not revealed any evidence of actual intervention or influence on audit cases, or of money being refunded, or of tax liability being changed,” Mr Mills said.
“The information I have to date shows no compromise of the operations of our administration. Our systems, controls and procedures worked effectively and we have been able to successfully isolate and protect the investigation, working well with the Australian Federal Police over many months to build a picture of what has been happening.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the federal police for the investigation and “taking the action that they have”.
ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston allegedly sought to cut deal for son Adam Cranston
By Nick McKenzie
Deputy ATO commissioner to be charged
In connection with an alleged $165 million tax fraud syndicate, the Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston will be charged.
Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office Michael Cranston allegedly sought to pressure colleagues to cut a deal with his son after learning he was the subject of a major tax fraud investigation, sources said.
Mr Cranston learnt of the investigation after his son, Adam Cranston, approached him and told his father that he believed his company was the subject of an ongoing inquiry.
Michael Cranston. Photo: Rob Homer
Michael Cranston allegedly subsequently approached a Tax Office assistant commissioner and raised the prospect that his son’s company was being targeted.
Michael Cranston allegedly simultaneously sought to downplay his son’s involvement in the alleged criminal scheme.
Two high-ranking Tax Office officials who spoke to Michael Cranston about the inquiry into his son have also been stood down, pending further investigation.
It is understood that Michael Cranston allegedly inquired as to whether a deal could be struck to resolve any probe.
The Tax Office sometimes resolves matters by agreeing to receive a payment from those accused of tax fraud.
Michael Cranston also allegedly sought to reach out to investigators involved in the multi-agency investigation but was unable to do so because the Australian Federal Police had warned them that such an approach might be likely.
One of nine people being arrested over a $165 million tax fraud investigation. Photo: AAP/Australian Federal Police
Adam Cranston was allegedly involved in the unlawful tax fraud scheme from the middle of 2016.
The scheme, which allowed the accused to make tens of millions of dollars in allegedly illegal profits, was started much earlier by another of the accused.
Police seized $1 million from a safe deposit box during Wednesday’s raids. Photo: Australian Federal Police
Adam Cranston allegedly displayed unexplained wealth, including a collection of prestige cars.
But Michael Cranston is suspected to have been unaware that his son was the subject of the probe until Adam approached him.
Tax tsar’s son charged over alleged scam that netted $165 million
EXCLUSIVE Nick Hansen, The Daily Telegraph
UPDATE:Michael Cranston, the deputy commissioner of the Australia Taxation office, has been charged with abusing his position as a public official.
It comes after his son Adam was charged over his role in a $165 million tax scam.
The Daily Telegraph today revealed Cranston’s son, Adam was charged over his alleged role in a fraud syndicate that police claim stole more than $165 million — one of the biggest white-collar crimes in Australia’s history.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Australian Federal Police yesterday arrested Adam Cranston at his Bondi flat in one of 27 raids on homes and businesses across Sydney.
Cranston was charged last night with conspiracy to defraud the commonwealth and is expected to face Central Local Court today.
It’s understood eight others were arrested and facing possible charges.
The 30-year-old Cranston is the son of ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, but there is no suggestion Michael Cranston had any involvement in or knowledge of the criminal syndicate.
Sources close to the investigation claim Adam was a “co-conspirator” in a group that used an elaborate tax scam to fund a celebrity lifestyle that included prime Sydney real estate, boats — and even a racing car team.
“This investigation has uncovered high-level organised activity; it is complex (and) sophisticated,” the source last night told The Daily Telegraph.
“I think it will take the police a long time to figure out exactly how much money (is involved).”
It is believed police will allege the fraud is one of the largest ever seen in Australia.
Investigators allege Sydney financial services firm SYNEP, of which Adam is co-chairman and managing director, was part of the operation.
Payroll contractor Plutus Payroll, controlled by SYNEP, was the centrepiece of the alleged hustle.
Police will claim it would allegedly funnel wage payments through a series of “second tier” companies. who then paid the ATO only a fraction of the required income tax.
The remaining withheld tax would then allegedly flow into the pockets of syndicate operators.
The scammers believed they had struck a sweet spot where each individual fraud was too small to prompt action from the ATO.
One source said it was “like saying to your schoolteacher, ‘I’ve done most of my homework, I’ll bring the rest next week’.”
The net tightened when both the AFP and ATO noticed alleged discrepancies in parallel investigations.
The sum of the frauds is understood to be more than $165 million, with the extent of Cranston’s own alleged profits expected to be revealed in court.
Investigators said their probe focused on a 12-month snapshot of the group’s alleged activities.
Sources also allege the scheme had another sinister angle.
Police will claim the syndicate would pay struggling people a regular fee so they could set up the second tier companies in their names. However, the syndicate had total control of the companies.
Plutus Payroll hit the headlines earlier this month when the ATO froze its bank accounts over unpaid tax debts, meaning its clients’ staff could not be paid.
In a statement earlier this month, Plutus apologised to its customers “continuing distress caused by our inability to process your pay since 27 April”.
“Our dispute is with the Australian Taxation Office who believe that Plutus owes the ATO money,” the statement said.
“Acting in a draconian and unfair manner, the ATO froze Plutus’ bank accounts on 27 April without prior warning or any consultation.
“We received no notice of intention to audit, no complaint and no other advance warning of noncompliance from the ATO.
“When the ATO acted, without notice, they froze our bank accounts and we became unable to pay our contractors the money owed to them.”
On May 10, the company announced the ATO had allowed the release of the money.
With more than 35 years at ATO, Michael Cranston has spearheaded many public campaigns to catch tax cheats.
“I am responsible for increasing compliance and willing participation in our tax and super system,” one of his social media accounts states.
“I recently chaired the OECD Task Force on Tax Crimes.”
The ATO last night refused to comment on the investigation.
And Michael Cranston did not respond to questions put to him through the ATO.
The ATO said it “will not comment on ongoing investigations at this time”.
“Due to privacy considerations the ATO is unable to comment on individual employees,” it said.
A CASE OF LIVE FAST AND FRY YOUNG
POLICE claim assets linked to an alleged $165 million tax fraud case include sports cars, expensive properties, boats and even a race team.
Cars were a particular passion for one of the alleged “co-conspirators” of the crime. Adam Cranston loved them so much there’s even a wedding day photo of the now 30-year-old with his wife and a slick race car.
There is no suggestion Cranston’s wife had any knowledge of or involvement in the alleged fraud.
A source said that among the property seized by police is an orange and blue Ford GT in Cranston’s possession.
Cranston started a race car team last year. And he named it after the financial services firm now at the centre of the alleged crime, SYNEP. The team competed in the Australian Prototype Series and in February celebrated a podium finish at Mount Panorama.
ATO official Michael Cranston facing charges over son’s alleged 65m fraud – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
ATO official Michael Cranston facing charges over son’s alleged $165m fraud
One of Australia’s most senior tax officials has been embroiled in a major fraud investigation following the arrest of his son, which allegedly involved $165 million being stolen from the Commonwealth.
Deputy tax commissioner Michael Cranston has been issued with a court attendance notice, while his son, Adam Cranston, was arrested in Sydney yesterday as part of an Australian Federal Police sting.
Michael Cranston will be charged with abusing his position as a public official relating to the fraud, although he is not believed to be a conspirator.
Adam Cranston will face Central Local Court in Sydney later today.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said the arrests served as a warning.
“This is a major government crackdown and what the events today with this major fraud bust … demonstrates is that if you are a crook and you are seeking to defraud the taxpayer, we will find you,” he said.
“We will track you down. We will make sure you are brought to justice.”
The ABC understands Michael Cranston has been employed by the ATO for more than three decades and is involved in the organisation’s private groups and high wealth segment.
Part of his biography on his LinkedIn account reads: “My personal philosophy is that the tax system belongs to all Australians and we all need to work closely together to ensure that it is administered fairly, efficiently and causes the least pain for all that participate.”
The ICAC is investigating corruption allegations concerning Emman Sharobeem, the former CEO of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service(IWHS) and the Non-English Speaking Housing Women’s Scheme Inc (NESH).
The allegations include that Ms Sharobeem dishonestly exercised her official functions as IWHS CEO by: between 1 July 2009 and 17 February 2016, submitting invoices for reimbursement for goods and services to which she was not entitled and using an IWHS credit card to pay for personal expenses; between 2014 and 2015 submitting, and authorising payment by IWHS of, false invoices for facilitation fees and other services to herself and other persons to which they were not entitled; between 2011 and 2015, submitting, and authorising payment of, invoices by the IWHS for the renovation of her property in Fairfield; and between 2012 and 2014, falsifying IWHS statistics to NSW Health.
Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 2006 and 2016 by claiming to be a psychologist holding two PhD degrees and a masters degree, and further using those qualifications to treat IWHS clients and gain promotion to the position of CEO of the IWHS and the NESH. As NESH CEO, Ms Sharobeem is alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 17 December 2013 and 23 November 2015 by authorising payments from NESH to be made to her own account, to which she was not entitled.
Between March 2011 and November 2016, Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have fraudulently obtained and retained appointment as a Board member of the Community Relations Commission (now Multicultural NSW) and the Anti-Discrimination Board (now part of the Department of Justice) by using false academic qualifications.
The IWHS was a not-for-profit non-government organisation (NGO) women’s health service, primarily funded by NSW Health via South West Sydney Local Health District, while the NESH was a not-for-profit NGO contracted and funded by the Department of Family and Community Services to provide affordable housing to women and children. In her capacity as CEO, Ms Sharobeem was a public official for the purposes of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.
What so obvious (Did you see her on the news grabs last night going into ICAC)
Looked a different woman. Facelifts, liposuction, new teeth, body shaping, tens of thousands on designer handbags etc.
Can we see where this is going? She thought she was as entitled as some of the biggest over the top diva women in the poor countries who DESERVE all this material bullshit way pretending to stand up the poor and vulnerable women.
How disgusted must they be when to let’s say they asked her for help with a bill or their hair falling out from stress.
IT was a BIG NO.
While she got new teeth, got lipo, got skinny, wore the best, dined and the best. Even sold the property of the agency and kept around $600,000 profit to herself.
Flew all over the world, wearing clothes way beyond her means. I just want to be sick at the gall of this bitch. Regards Robbo
‘Why are you torturing me?’ Eman Sharobeem lashes out over ICAC psychology claim
Former Australian of the Year finalist Eman Sharobeem has lashed out at a public inquiry into claims she illegally practiced as a psychologist, saying she was being “tortured”.
Under heavy questioning from counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Ramesh Rajalingam, about client booking lists for the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, Ms Sharobeem insisted she did not treat anyone.
Eman Sharobeem accused of theft and fraud
Corruption watchdog hears Eman Sharobeem pretended to be a pillar of society helping the vulnerable but instead she was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for her lavish lifestyle.
She was shown video of an appearance on SBS television program Insight and played audio from two ABC Radio National programs in which she claimed to be a psychologist.
The commission has also been shown patient referrals from doctors and religious figures who sent people to her for treatment.
Go figure this one. A pathetic sentence that gives no adverse heat on the size of the crime. Let’s all steal from people that trust us, that legal system does nothing anyway. Check this one out and tell me your thoughts folks!… Cheers Robbo
Property manager Mark Kolodynski stole rental bonds for his TAB account
A Sydney real estate agent who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from renters’ bonds and trust accounts to make bets on sports has been jailed for 18 months.
The door closed on Tuesday for 29-year-old Panania property manager Mark Kolodynski to appeal against an 18-month jail sentence for stealing $370,000 from trust accounts of two real estate agents.
Details released by the state government show the former property manager systemically and unlawfully withdrew money for his own purposes from trust accounts held by real estate agents Northern Strata Management Services and Bevans Wollongong for customers.
A NSW Fair Trading investigation followed a trail of money that ultimately led to Kolodynski’s personal gambling account at the TAB.
“If you choose to do the wrong thing, Fair Trading will come after you, and you will be prosecuted,” said the NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean. “This result reflects the hard work of Fair Trading’s investigators.”
Kolodynski created fictitious expenses to justify his withdrawal of money from strata accounts. He also funnelled money held in rental bonds and deposits while working as a property manager.
Kolodynski was ordered to repay $100,000 each to the agencies from which he embezzled funds.
The real estate companies were forced to repay the trust accounts at their own expense.
Kolodynski pleaded guilty to stealing property as a clerk or servant and Magistrate Tim Keady sentenced him to a minimum non-parole period of 12 months on March 30.
His real estate qualifications had expired but he will be banned from holding any real estate credentials for 10 years. Friggin life might be better, how would a new young couple have any idea they are trusting their life savings into this thief’s hands??? Seriously…Robbo
Former Property Manager Mark Kolodynski has been jailed for 18-months for stealing $370,000 from trust accounts of two real estate agents. An investigation by NSW Department of Fair Trading found the trail of money led to his personal TAB account. “If you choose to do the wrong thing, Fair Trading will come after you, and you will be prosecuted,” said the NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean. “This results reflects the hard work of Fair Trading’s investigators.”
McIver is listed on the restaurant’s website as the head chef, while Graham describes herself as the restaurant’s payroll manager on her LinkedIn profile.
The group is expected to face court on Saturday morning.
Investigators commenced proceedings to confiscate cars, property, and assets under Queensland’s proceeds of crime laws.
Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said police remained at several properties continuing to search for evidence.
“As a result of our operation we have targeted a prominent Brisbane businessman and the message that we’d like to get across here is if you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area we will target you no matter who you are,” he said.
“We will be alleging that this is a sophisticated network that’s been distributing drugs in our area.
“Cocaine is a drug of choice of the wealthy I would say — we are seeing an increase in cocaine on the streets in Queensland.
“We usually don’t run this type of cocaine operation, this is probably one of the biggest cocaine jobs that the Queensland Police Service has run.”
Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos on drug charges
Jorge Branco and Toby Crockford
A prominent Brisbane restaurant owner, whose brother was bludgeoned to death, has been arrested on drug charges.
Police executed 11 search warrants on Friday morning in what has been described as one of the biggest cocaine operations in the history of Queensland police
RAW VISION: Police seize cocaine and ice worth $750,000 and arrest four people including Toowong chef Daniel Milos.
One of the premises raided was Toowong Italian restaurant Mariosarti, with owner Daniel Milos arrested. Police also raided 10 other addresses across the Gold Coast and Brisbane, including a Fig Tree Pocket home.
Police said five people in total had been arrested on 33 drug-related charges and expected further charges to be laid at a later date. The others in custody have been described as Mr. Milos’ “business associates”.
The searches and arrests were carried out as part of Operation Oscar Decimal, which started in February 2016 and saw the Queensland Police Service working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
Drug and Serious Crime Group Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker estimated the street value of the cocaine seized during the 14-month operation to be between $750,000 and $1 million. He said a significant quantity had been seized as part of Friday’s searches, along with high-end vehicles.
He described the operation as a “sophisticated network”, saying investigations were ongoing but added police had targeted a “prominent business person”.
“If you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area, we will target you, no matter who you are,” he said.
Superintendent Wacker said cocaine was a drug of choice for the wealthy and police had seen an increase in cocaine on the streets. He added the sharing of information across Queensland law enforcement agencies had led to the establishment and success of Operation Oscar Decimal.
Mr. Milos’ chef brother Peter, with whom he owned the restaurant, was bludgeoned to death in 2014. James Thomas Howell was acquitted in February of the chef’s murder.
ACIC state manager Charlie Carver said the result was significant due to the large amount of drugs seized and disruption to the distribution network.
“Many criminals run so-called front-end shops and businesses which will appear at first blush to actually be legitimate,” he said.
“However once you dig into the investigation and you look through what’s actually been happening, you find the illegal activity which is used to launder funds and also fund further illicit activities.”
“I direct Mr Obeid be taken down [into the cells],” Justice Beech-Jones says.
After loosening his tie and handing his watch to his lawyers, Obeid was led from the dock in court five in the historic Darlinghurst Supreme Court by corrective services officers.
Justice Beech-Jones says Obeid’s lawyers have not established “exceptional circumstances” exist to warrant a grant of bail pending his appeal against conviction and sentence.
“I do not accept Mr Obeid’s appeal rises any higher than being reasonably arguable,” he says of the merits of the foreshadowed appeal.
Eddie Obeid to be stripped of parliamentary pension as Baird government reacts to his sentencing
Former Labor minister Eddie Obeid is set to be stripped of his annual $120,000 parliamentary pension following his sentencing for wilful misconduct in public office.
On Thursday, Obeid was sentenced to a maximum 5 years in jail with a non parole period of three years.
Eddie Obeid jailed for five years
Former NSW Labor Minister Eddie Obeid has been jailed for a maximum of five years for misconduct in public office, with a non-parole period of three years.
Shortly afterwards, Premier Mike Baird announced MPs convicted of a serious offence during their time in office will lose their parliamentary pension, even if they quit before charges are laid.
The announcement means Obeid is set to be stripped of his lifetime annual pension worth more than $120,000 a year.
Presently MPs convicted of a serious offence – punishable by at least five years imprisonment – can keep their pensions if they are not charged while in office.
“The crimes of Eddie Obeid and his cronies are the most serious instance of official corruption we have seen in our lifetimes,” Mr Baird said.
“Regardless of political affiliation, any MP who commits a serious offence while in office should face the consequences, and should not be shielded simply because they resign before being charged.
“We will work cooperatively with the Opposition and cross-bench MPs over the summer recess to bring forward amendments that repair this glaring anomaly, and we will make sure they capture Obeid and any others who find themselves in his situation.”
The change will require an amendment to legislation to be put to parliament early next year.
The Baird government has also indicated it will claw back the estimated $280,000 legal assistance he was given for this particular ICAC inquiry.
The Herald‘s state political editor Sean Nicholls has the exclusive: the Baird government will strip Obeid of his annual $120,000 parliamentary pension following his jail sentence for misconduct in public office.
Former Labor premier Kristina Keneally is out of the blocks early to offer her views on Obeid’s jail sentence. She’s not mincing her words.
It ain’t over
Usually when a person is sent to prison, they are taken away from the courtroom almost immediately by corrective services.
Not so in the Obeid case. His lawyer, Guy Reynolds, SC, is in full flight about the alleged miscarriage of justice suffered by his client. He wants bail.
An impassive Obeid remains in the dock as Reynolds and Justice Beech-Jones engage in a robust discussion about the latter’s summing up to the jury.
An appeal is already in the offing but for the time being Obeid is going to jail for a maximum of five years, with no possibility of release for three years.
What next? Glad you asked. Obeid and his entrepreneurial middle son, Moses, have been charged over a separate deal exposed at ICAC, relating to the very fortuitous creation of a coal mining tenement over their rural property in the Bylong Valley near Mudgee.
The deal netted the Obeid family $30 million, ICAC heard.The men will face a three-week committal hearing starting on May 29 to test the strength of the prosecution’s case and determine if they should stand trial.
Obeid’s barrister, Guy Reynolds, SC, has leapt to his feet and, as foreshadowed, is already flagging an appeal.
He says there has been a “miscarriage of justice” and they will need to trot off to the Court of Criminal Appeal.
“The prospects of Mr Obeid succeeding … on appeal are extremely high,” Reynolds says.
“Given the nature of the offending and notwithstanding Mr Obeid’s personal circumstances, I am satisfied that, having considered all possible alternatives, no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate,” he says.
“Mr Obeid, will you please stand up.”
Justice Beech-Jones has sentenced Obeid to a maximum of 5 years in jail, with a three-year non parole period.
‘Not an opinion poll’
This is it. “Conclusion,” Justice Beech-Jones says clearly.
He says sentencing is not conducted via “opinion polls”.
“If Mr Obeid had not willfully abused his position as a parliamentarian, then his life and career would be a testament to the values of hard work, family and public service. Instead, his time in public life has produced a very different legacy.”
And we are inching closer. Justice Beech-Jones says a jail sentence should not be reduced because it would consume “most of an offender’s remaining life expectancy”.
The court hears Obeid suffers from a litany of medical conditions. He had a stroke earlier this year, has had type two diabetes “for years”, has high blood pressure and colonic polyps.
He also tripped on a coffee table earlier this year and was taken to hospital.
However, the conditions are “stable and controlled”, according to medical evidence.
But expert evidence tendered by Obeid’s legal team says it is “unlikely that … Obeid would receive appropriate medical treatment in custody if he was incarcerated”.
Justice Beech-Jones says he accepts Obeid would receive “a superior level of care in the community” but he is satisfied “he would receive an adequate level of care” in jail.
Edward Moses Obeid was born in a village in northern Lebanon in 1943, and after moving to Australia as a child, worked as a cab driver and at local Arabic-language newspaper El Telegraph.
Within a few years he was running that newspaper, and was recruited by Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson to join the party in 1972.
ABC investigative journalist Marion Wilkinson’s book The Fixer describes how Obeid was soon providing invaluable advice to Richardson on how to politically organise ethnic communities.
It was Mr Richardson who gave Obeid the necessary backing to see him elected to the NSW Upper House in 1991, and he rose through the ranks to become the minister for fisheries and mineral resources from 1999 to 2003.
But it was his creation and control of the so-called Terrigals sub-faction of the Labor Right that would go on to dominate NSW Labor for the better part of two decades.
One king to rule them all
The sub-faction was formed, with Obeid its undisputed king, at a now infamous meeting at his beach house in Terrigal in 1992.
It went on to use its numbers relentlessly to fundraise, control pre-selections, guide policy and elevate chosen MPs to the frontbench.
At the height of its powers, the Terrigals sub-faction was instrumental in installing and removing a series of premiers — namely Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally.
Mr Iemma has said his premiership became “untenable” because he could not convince the Terrigals to approve his preferred ministerial reshuffle.
Mr Rees was rolled after standing up to the sub-faction by sacking Ian Macdonald and Joe Tripodi from the ministry.
Just before he was knifed, Mr Rees famously said: “should I not be Premier by the end of the day, let there be no doubt in the community’s mind, no doubt, that any challenger will be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi.”
How the empire unravelled
But Obeid’s influence was broader than the parliamentary caucus.
His diary entries from 2007 to 2009, tendered to Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings, show a revolving door of developers, union bosses and business figures queuing up to seek appointments with him.
With a string of business and property interests in both Australia and Lebanon, Obeid was already wealthy when he entered Parliament and he continued to build both his financial and political empires while an MP.
And it was the mixing of his political and business ties which eventually led to him being convicted on June 28 this year of misconduct in a public office.
The Crown said Obeid knew Mr Dunn from when he had been fisheries minister, and argued that he misused his position as an Upper House MP to “dupe” Mr Dunn into believing he was acting on behalf of constituents.
The court found he was in fact trying to stop a competitive tender process for the leases to financially benefit his own family.
Prosecution not to be scoffed at
The prosecution stemmed from a corrupt conduct finding by the ICAC.
In his findings in the ICAC inquiry into the Circular Quay leases, assistant commissioner Anthony Whealy described the former MP’s actions as demonstrating “the moral vacuum at the core of his political being”.
When the ICAC first handed down its finding, Obeid scoffed that he believed there was “less than a one per cent chance” that he would be prosecuted as a result.
Even when charged, he still said he had “no concerns whatsoever” and was “very confident” he would not be convicted because he was innocent.
HIS HONOUR: In Australian Communist Party v The Commonwealth, Dixon J warned that democratic “[f]orms of government may need protection from dangers likely to arise from within the institutions to be protected”. This case provides an illustration of such a danger.
On 6 June 2016 the offender, Edward Moses Obeid, was arraigned in this Court on an indictment that charged him with one count of the common law offence of wilful misconduct in public office. He pleaded not guilty. A jury was empanelled and the trial proceeded.
On Tuesday 28 June 2016 the jury returned a verdict of guilty. I recorded a conviction. The proceedings were adjourned until 12 August 2016 for submissions on sentence. The sentence proceedings were later adjourned to 6 October 2016 on Mr Obeid’s application due to his ill health. They were further adjourned to 1 December 2016 on the application of the Crown.
In DPP v Marks VSCA 277 at , Nettle JA (as his Honour then was) identified the object of the offence of wilful misconduct in public office as ensuring a public official does not “abuse intentionally the trust reposed in him” or her. In this case, the essence of the criminality alleged against Mr Obeid was that he intentionally abused the public trust reposed in him as a Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales by using his position to make representations to a senior officer of the Maritime Authority of NSW, Mr Stephen Dunn, to advance the financial interests of himself or at least his family
Now that Mr Obeid has been convicted, the Crown contends that no sentence other than full time imprisonment should be imposed. On behalf of Mr Obeid it is contended that the Court can and should impose a sentence that falls short of that sanction, especially when regard is had to his personal circumstances including his age, ill health and prior good conduct.
To address these submissions and determine the appropriate sentence it is first necessary to set out the background to the commission of the offence by Mr Obeid, describe the conduct he engaged in, determine what the jury necessarily found by its verdict, identify the relevant principles that apply to the sentencing exercise and outline the subjective case put forward on Mr Obeid’s behalf.
To the extent that the following description of the background to the offence refers to established facts, they were either agreed at the trial or at least not in issue.
Mr Obeid was elected to the Legislative Council in 1991. He retired from Parliament in 2011. From April 1999 to April 2003 he was the Minister for Fisheries.
In the period leading up to the Sydney Olympics, the public body responsible for wharves 1 to 5 at Circular Quay, being the Waterways Authority, entered into new leases for the businesses situated on those wharves. The term of each lease was approximately five years and they were all due to expire on or about 31 August 2005. They did not include options for renewal.
During 2005, the Waterways Authority was renamed the “NSW Maritime Authority” (the “Maritime Authority”). At all relevant times, Ministerial responsibility for the Waterways Authority, and then the Maritime Authority, rested with the Minister for Ports and Waterways. Until August 2005, Michael Costa was the responsible Minister. From August 2005 to February 2006, Eric Roozendaal was the Minister. From February 2006 until November 2009, Joseph Tripodi was the Minister for Ports and Waterways.
In or about late 2002, Circular Quay Restaurants Pty Ltd (“CQR”) purchased two businesses operating under leases at the Circular Quay wharves, namely the Café Sorrentino on Wharf 4 and the Quay Eatery on Wharf 5, for $1 million each. It also purchased another business in the vicinity of the wharves known as the Arc Cafe for $400,000.00, however it need not be mentioned further.
CQR took assignments of the leases for Café Sorrentino and Quay Eatery on the same terms and conditions as the existing tenants, including the expiry date in August 2005. Mr Obeid’s brotherinlaw, Mr John Abood, was the sole Director and shareholder of CQR. It was an agreed fact that “via a series of trusts 90% of the interest in the business[es] flowed to the Obeid Family Trust No. 2”. This was a discretionary trust, the potential beneficiaries of which were members of the Obeid family, including Mr Obeid and his wife, Judith. Further, there was evidence at the trial that $1.398 million of the funds for the purchase of the businesses came from a mortgage of the home that Mr Obeid and his wife resided in and which his wife owned. A ledger entry from the family business records that, six days prior to the purchase of the businesses, $3.4 million was received from that mortgage of which $1.398 million was distributed to CQR and just over $1.557 million was distributed to, or at least on behalf of, Mr Obeid.
Although Mr Abood was the Director and shareholder of CQR, the acquisition of the businesses and its financing was arranged by Mr Obeid’s sons, principally Damien Obeid. Mr Abood managed the businesses on a daytoday basis. For that he was paid a salary and provided with a motor vehicle. Damien Obeid was responsible for the collection of the cash takings of the businesses and payment of its invoices. Damien Obeid arranged for the cash takings to be delivered to Sam Achie, the financial controller, and Paul Maroon, a bookkeeper. They both worked at the offices of Obeid Corporation at Birkenhead Point.
In his evidence, Damien Obeid denied that from the time his father entered Parliament he played any role in the family businesses or that he discussed the family businesses with his father. He specifically denied discussing with his father “anything at all about how the businesses [at Circular Quay] were going, what the lease problems were, or anything like that”. However, Damien Obeid understood that his father was aware that he and his brothers had invested in the businesses at Circular Quay.
Damien Obeid said that, shortly after the businesses were acquired, he requested that Paul Maroon set aside approximately $1000 to $1200 per week from the cash takings of CQR for delivery to Judith Obeid. Damien Obeid stated that this was merely a continuation of an arrangement for the provision of cash to her from one family business or another which was always accounted for as a payment by Obeid Corporation.
There was also evidence capable of suggesting that Mr Obeid received his own cash payments from CQR’s takings from sometime in 2007. Tendered at the trial were a series of spreadsheets prepared by Mr Maroon. The spreadsheets each had a file name referable to a particular date or week in the period August 2007 to October 2011. The spreadsheets included entries referable to the distribution of CQR’s cash takings. The entries in the spreadsheets juxtaposed amounts of cash with references to Judith Obeid, Mr Obeid or both of them. On their face, those spreadsheets suggested that regular cash payments were made to Mr Obeid over and above the amounts paid to Judith Obeid. In addition, there were other electronic documents prepared by Mr Maroon which contained references to payments to “mum and dad” or “EO and JO”.
Mr Maroon’s oral evidence had its difficulties in that his memory has been significantly affected by medication he takes for epilepsy. As a consequence, the jury was instructed that it should exercise caution in determining whether to accept his evidence and attach weight to it. Mr Maroon said that the entries in the spreadsheets reflected instructions he received that were recorded on approximately the same day they were given to him, “usually” by Damien Obeid. He said the spreadsheet entries recorded instructions to prepare envelopes with an amount of cash in them which he provided to Damien Obeid or one of his brothers. Sometimes the envelope was marked up to reflect the instruction. However, Mr Maroon agreed that he did not remember the circumstances of any particular entry, that he never saw what happened to the envelopes of cash he gave to Damien Obeid, and that he never saw Mr Obeid Senior receive any cash from CQR’s businesses. Mr Maroon accepted that it was “possible” that the references to “mum and dad” in his spreadsheets could have been a reference “to the household expenses of the Obeid family”.
Mr Damien Obeid repeatedly denied asking Mr Maroon to set aside money for his father out of CQR’s takings or ever instructing Mr Maroon to write “Dad” on any envelope or that ever he provided any money to his father. He stated that, while he and his family were living with his parents from 2006 to the “end of 2008 or perhaps even early 2009”, there was an increase in the amount of cash payments of “up to $2000” per week. This appears to roughly correspond with the total of the amounts referred to in the spreadsheets listed against Mr Obeid and his wife in that period.
For each of the lessees of the businesses at the wharves, the insecurity of their tenure was a cause of considerable concern. This was particularly the case for CQR in that, if the leases were not renewed, then it was likely that the funds outlayed to purchase the businesses would not be recovered.
In August 2004, five representatives of the lessees at the wharves wrote to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (“SHFA”) which was managing the properties for the Maritime Authority, expressing their concern about the security of their tenure and seeking a response to their request to renew their leases. Mr Abood was one of the signatories to the letter. On 2 September 2004, SHFA responded stating that all lease agreements would be offered for competitive tender upon their expiry and that the tendering process would commence “early in the new year.”
Mr Abood said that around this time he had meetings with other tenants about the issue. Damien Obeid recommended they speak to his cousin, Dennis Jabour, who had experience in property management. Mr Jabour in turn suggested they retain Mr Paul Scanlan, a professional negotiator with legal qualifications and experience in retail tenancies. Ultimately, Mr Scanlan was retained to act on behalf of three separate tenants, including CQR. Mr Scanlan was instructed to lobby the Maritime Authority on their behalf in order to achieve either a renewal of their leases or at least agreement to direct negotiations over lease renewals.
From late 2004 to early 2008, Mr Scanlan did as he was instructed. He wrote a number of letters on behalf of the lessees to SHFA and the Maritime Authority. He made numerous telephone calls and attended many meetings with Maritime Authority staff. In July 2006 he secured a meeting with Minister Tripodi. Throughout this time Mr Scanlan emphasised the unfairness to the lessees in requiring them to compete in an open tender and that doing so was detrimental for the Maritime Authority in that it meant that the tenants were reluctant to invest in the upkeep of their premises.
Despite his efforts, until the middle of 2007 Mr Scanlan was unsuccessful in obtaining any change in the Maritime Authority’s position. However, even though by early 2005 preparations for an open tender process were well advanced, the Maritime Authority did not proceed to competitive tender for the leases. Instead the leases were extended for six months from August 2005 and thereafter they became monthtomonth tenancies. A ten per cent increase in rent was applied during the holding over period.
The former Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Authority, Christopher Oxenbould, explained that this delay was the result of internal government disagreements concerning the Maritime Authority’s commercial leasing policy (the “CLP”) and its approach to the Circular Quay precinct. There were differing views within the Maritime Authority and between the differing Ministers from time to time as to whether the CLP should provide that, upon the expiry of a lease of Maritime Authority property, a new lease should be the subject of a market based tender on the one hand or existing tenants should be allowed the opportunity to first negotiate a renewed lease on the other. In relation to Circular Quay, Mr Oxenbould stated that within the Maritime Property division of the Maritime Authority there was a “very strong belief” that the process of renewal for the Circular Quay leases was a special case compared with those addressed in the proposed CLP and should only be renewed by a process of competitive tender.
Mr Oxenbould stated that around mid-2007, the fate of the proposed CLP and the Circular Quay leases became linked. It was around this time that Mr Obeid made the “representations” the subject of the charge against him which I will now describe.
Mr Patrick Low was appointed to a senior policy position within the Maritime Authority in November 2006. He assumed responsibility for the finalisation of the CLP. In his evidence, Mr Low said that he did not draw any distinction between retail leases at Circular Quay and other retail leases of Maritime Authority property. On 7 August 2007, Mr Low circulated Version 9 of the draft CLP. It contemplated retail leases of Maritime Authority property being offered on a competitive basis, including on their expiry.
On 15 August 2007, Mr Stephen Dunn took up an appointment as Deputy Chief Executive of the Maritime Authority. On 21 August 2007, he was appointed to the additional position of General Manager of the Maritime Property Division. Mr Dunn was the Director General of Fisheries from late 1999 to 2004, which included the period when Mr Obeid was the Minister for Fisheries. Mr Dunn said that he and Mr Obeid came to know each other well during this period but they did not socialise although Mr Dunn regarded Mr Obeid as a mentor. After he ceased work at the Department of Fisheries, Mr Dunn worked overseas for two years. When he returned he and Mr Obeid met infrequently for coffee. Mr Dunn said that, in the period immediately before he was appointed, Mr Obeid contacted him and that Mr Obeid either was or became aware that Mr Dunn was about to commence in a senior position with the Maritime Authority.
During the morning of 17 August 2007, Mr Obeid telephoned Mr Dunn. Mr Dunn returned his call. Mr Dunn said that to his recollection Mr Obeid said that “he was unhappy about the way the group of tenants at Circular Quay had been treated by the Maritime Authority” and asked Mr Dunn to “meet with a barrister that represented them, Mr Paul Scanlan”. Mr Dunn also recalled that Mr Obeid “made some very disparaging remarks” about the Maritime Authority and the way they treated the tenants. He recalled that Mr Obeid said that the leaseholders at Circular Quay “were bullied by Maritime Authority staff and that they were not treated fairly in their dealing with Maritime Authority staff”. Mr Dunn recalled that Mr Obeid was “agitated” and used “quite strong language” to convey his feelings about the “behaviour of the Maritime Property staff about the way they treated stakeholders”. In cross examination, Mr Dunn agreed that Mr Obeid did not advocate any outcome other than him meeting with Mr Scanlan and did not expand upon the tenants’ grievances.
At no time during that or any other conversation did Mr Obeid indicate to Mr Dunn that he or his family had any direct or indirect financial interest in the Circular Quay leases. Instead, Mr Dunn said that he knew Mr Obeid was a Member of the Legislative Council and believed “very much that [Mr Obeid] was calling on behalf of constituents”.
The telephone records indicate that there were five further telephone conversations between Mr Dunn and Mr Obeid after the call on 17 August 2007, being calls on 21 August 2007, 27 August 2007, the evening of 28 August 2007, 3 September 2007 and 11 September 2007. Mr Dunn had no specific recollection of those conversations but he accepted that with the conversation on 21 August 2007 there was nothing to discuss other than the Circular Quay leases and that with the telephone call on 28 August 2007 it was likely they had discussed Mr Dunn’s meeting with Mr Scanlan earlier that day. He recalled that in the telephone calls on 5 and 11 September 2007, Mr Obeid was seeking “updates”.
As noted, on or about 28 August 2007, Mr Dunn met Mr Scanlan. Mr Low said he also attended but neither Mr Dunn nor Mr Scanlan could recall him being present at the meeting. Around this time, Mr Dunn and Mr Low met to discuss Version 9 of the draft CLP. Mr Low recalled Mr Dunn directing that it be changed from requiring open tenders of leases to instead having a “benchmark of lease renewals on commercial terms”. Mr Dunn did not accept that he directed such changes but instead said he was “encouraging Mr Low [that] this was a suitable policy response”. Both recalled that Mr Low obtained the approval of the Minister and Mr Oxenbould for the changes.
On or about 4 September 2007, Version 10 of the draft CLP was produced. This version now provided that retail leases would be “offered via direct negotiations” with existing tenants in the first instance. On the same date Mr Dunn wrote to Mr Scanlan advising that the Maritime Authority was reviewing its lease policy and that no further increases in rent would be sought during the holdover period.
Two further versions of the draft CLP were produced but the approach to renewals of existing retail leases did not change from Version 10. The final CLP was approved by cabinet on 26 November 2007. Negotiations over a new lease commenced with Mr Scanlan on 29 November 2007. A new lease for CQR’s businesses was signed in 2008. However, the businesses ultimately failed sometime around 2012 and the leases were terminated.
The Jury’s Verdict
To properly characterise Mr Obeid’s offending, it is necessary to explain the elements of the offence of wilful misconduct in public office and the directions given to the jury in order to determine what the jury necessarily found in returning a guilty verdict. In addition, it is the sentencing judge’s function to make such further findings of fact as may be necessary for sentencing provided that they are consistent with the jury’s verdict. If any such findings are adverse to the offender, they must be proven beyond reasonable doubt but otherwise they are to be made on the balance of probabilities (see R v Olbrich  HCA 54; 199 CLR 270 (“Olbrich”) at  per Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, Hayne and Callinan JJ).
In Obeid v R NSWCCA 309 at  to , Bathurst CJ, Beazley P and Leeming JA accepted the formulation of the five elements of the offence of wilful misconduct in public office enunciated in R v Quach  VSCA 106; 201 A Crim R 522 (“Quach”) at . In Mr Obeid’s case it was accepted that one of those elements, namely, that the relevant misconduct was undertaken “without reasonable excuse or justification”, did not arise as no evidence or submissions put forward were capable of raising any such excuse or justification that was not necessarily excluded by a finding that he wilfully misconducted himself. Accordingly, the jury was instructed that it had to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the remaining four elements stated in Quach adapted to the case against Mr Obeid, being first that he was a public officer, second that in making representations to Mr Dunn Mr Obeid acted “in the course of or connected to his public office”, third that in so acting he wilfully misconducted himself and fourth that his conduct in making representations was misconduct that was serious and merited criminal punishment. I will deal with each element in turn.
In relation to the first element, the jury was instructed that as a matter of law a Member of the Legislative Council is a public officer: Obeid v R NSWCCA 309 at  to .
In relation to the second element, the jury was instructed that the functions and responsibilities of a Member of the Legislative Council include “scrutinising the actions of the executive government” and “communicat[ing] with the executive government about matters affecting the State by, for example, making representations, suggestions or even protesting to a Minister or departments about their policies and practices” (see Horne v Barber HCA 33; 27 CLR 494 at 500 to 501 per Isaacs J; R v Boston HCA 59; 33 CLR 386; “Boston” at 402 to 403 per Isaacs and Rich JJ; R v Obeid (No 2) NSWSC 1380 at ). In this case, the nature and circumstances of the conversation between Mr Dunn and Mr Obeid and the absence of any disclosure by Mr Obeid that he or his family had any interest in the leases clearly suggested that, objectively considered, Mr Obeid’s conduct was undertaken in the course of or connected to his public office. The jury so concluded.
In relation to the third element, namely, that Mr Obeid wilfully misconducted himself, the jury was instructed that it had to be satisfied of three matters beyond reasonable doubt, namely, that: Mr Obeid engaged in the conduct identified in the indictment, that such conduct was misconduct that is a breach of the duties and obligations attached to his office as a Member of the Legislative Council and that the misconduct was “wilful”.
The relevant conduct alleged against Mr Obeid in the indictment was that while he held office as a Member of the Legislative Council he made representations to Mr Dunn, “with the intention of securing an outcome from the … Maritime Authority favourable to [CQR] in respect of its tenancies of properties at Circular Quay, knowing at the time he made the representations that he had a commercial and/or beneficial and/or family and/or personal interest in the said tenancies which he did not disclose to Stephen Paul Dunn.”
The jury was instructed that this aspect of the indictment raised four matters of fact, each of which it had to be satisfied of beyond reasonable doubt, namely, that Mr Obeid had an interest in the tenancies, that he knew that such an interest existed, that he did not disclose any such interest to Mr Dunn and that he made representations to Mr Dunn with the “intention of securing an outcome” favourable to CQR.
In relation to Mr Obeid and his family’s interest in the tenancies I have already referred to the agreed fact that Mr Obeid and his family had an interest via the trust arrangement (). I have also referred to the evidence concerning the mortgage of his residence that was owned by his wife which was used to finance part of the acquisition of the businesses (), the evidence of weekly cash payments made to Mr Obeid’s wife () and the evidence of the further cash payments that the Crown contended were made to Mr Obeid directly ( to ). It follows from the jury’s verdict that it was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Obeid had an “interest” of the kind referred to in the indictment. The indirect interest via a trust was agreed and the evidence of the mortgage and cash payments to Judith Obeid was undisputed. I consider it follows that the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of those three matters. To the extent that there may be some uncertainty in this respect I record that I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of those matters.
However, it does not necessarily follow from its verdict that the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Obeid personally received the cash payments described as payments to “EO” or “Dad” or the like in Mr Maroon’s spreadsheets. Given that Mr Maroon never stated that he provided them to Mr Obeid Senior personally, and his concession that the reference to “Mum or Dad” in his spreadsheet could have been a reference to payments to the household expenses of the Obeid family, I am not satisfied of that matter beyond reasonable doubt. However, it was not disputed that the payments described as being for “EO” or “Dad” or the like in Mr Maroon’s spreadsheets represented actual cash amounts that were delivered to Mr Obeid’s household and, if not given to him, then they were at least given to his wife Judith. Damien Obeid agreed that the amount of cash payments increased from around 2006. Accordingly, I consider it follows that the jury was satisfied of at least that fact. To the extent that there may be some uncertainty in this respect I am also satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of that fact.
As for Mr Obeid’s knowledge of his and his family’s interest, it follows from the verdict that the jury was satisfied of that as well. In particular, it is overwhelmingly likely that Mr Obeid was aware of the substantial financial outlay his family made to purchase the businesses, especially when he received part of the proceeds of the same mortgage that was used to finance the purchase (see ). It is also overwhelmingly likely that Mr Obeid was aware of which business was being used to provide cash to his household. Further, while Damien Obeid gave evidence that he did not discuss the family’s businesses with his father, I am satisfied the jury rejected that aspect of his evidence and was satisfied of the contrary beyond reasonable doubt. To the extent there may be any uncertainty in this respect, I am also satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of that matter. The exquisite timing of Mr Obeid’s telephone contact with Mr Dunn demonstrates that he was very familiar with the position of his family businesses and the threat they faced.
In relation to the absence of disclosure by Mr Obeid to Mr Dunn of his interest in the tenancies, Mr Dunn’s uncontested evidence was that Mr Obeid made no such disclosure in any way (see ).91t follows from its verdict that the jury was satisfied of that matter.
In relation to that part of the indictment that alleged that Mr Obeid made representations to Mr Dunn with the “intention of securing an outcome” favourable to CQR I have already described Mr Dunn’s uncontested evidence of his discussions with Mr Obeid. The jury clearly accepted that evidence. At the trial, there was no real contest that Mr Obeid made “representations” to Mr Dunn. However, there was a contest about the content and effect of those representations and then in turn, Mr Obeid’s motives, intentions and state of mind in making them.
At the trial it was contended on behalf of Mr Obeid that the request he made of Mr Dunn was relatively innocuous in that he did not urge any outcome on Mr Dunn and did not expand upon the tenants’ grievances. In contrast, in his final address, the Crown Prosecutor effectively submitted that Mr Obeid’s intervention was a careful and nuanced act designed to prime Mr Dunn to be receptive to Mr Scanlan’s arguments. The Crown submitted that Mr Obeid chose Mr Dunn because he was someone with whom he had an existing relationship and he knew was influential. The Crown submitted that Mr Obeid did more than simply ring Mr Dunn and ask him to meet Mr Scanlan. The Crown submitted that Mr Obeid conveyed to Mr Dunn in clear terms his strong disapproval with the way the Maritime Authority was treating the tenants at Circular Quay. The Crown submitted that by not mentioning his interest in the tenancies Mr Obeid duped Mr Dunn into believing that he was asking him to meet with Mr Scanlan on behalf of arm’s length constituents who had a genuine grievance with the Maritime Authority. I consider that it follows from the jury’s verdict that the jury accepted what the Crown submitted was Mr Obeid’s motives and intentions in contacting Mr Dunn. To the extent that there may be some uncertainty in this respect I am satisfied of those matters beyond reasonable doubt.
At this point, it is important to note a specific direction given to the jury about this part of the indictment; ie that part that refers to Mr Obeid having an “intention of securing an outcome” favourable to CQR. At the trial, Mr Tripodi, gave evidence that he had served on a parliamentary committee with Mr Obeid from 1996 to 1998. Mr Tripodi said that he recalled that Mr Obeid had instanced the Circular Quay lessees as examples of government tenants who had been mistreated and referred to other government departments “where they did have a right of renewal and he felt that was good policy”. There was also an agreed fact that Mr Obeid and Mr Tripodi had discussions on that topic after Mr Tripodi became Minister for Ports and Waterways.
Thus, on behalf of Mr Obeid it was submitted to the jury that he had a long held view about unfair government treatment of tenants, including those at Circular Quay. It was also submitted that that matter, and the supposedly innocuous nature of his intervention, negated any suggestion that Mr Obeid intervened to promote his or his family’s financial interests and instead suggested he intervened because he believed the Maritime Authority was mistreating the Circular Quay tenants. A submission to similar effect was made on behalf of Mr Obeid at the sentencing hearing.
This aspect of Mr Obeid’s case raised a possibility that the jury might conclude that, or be left with a doubt about whether, Mr Obeid made representations to Mr Dunn having both an intention to secure a favourable outcome for CQR and a belief that it was part of his duty to his constituents to point out unfair treatment by the Maritime Authority. Over the objection of the Crown, I directed the jury that it had to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the conduct of Mr Obeid “in making the representations to Mr Dunn was undertaken with the intention of benefitting [CQR], that is for the purpose of promoting Mr Obeid’s pecuniary interests or those of his family or those close to him and that it was not undertaken because he in any way genuinely believed it was in the public interest or the interests of the electorate or even part of the electorate”. I directed the jury that if it were not so satisfied then Mr Obeid had to be acquitted.
It follows from its verdict that the jury rejected the reasonable possibility that Mr Obeid was even partly motivated to speak to Mr Dunn by a genuine belief that doing so was in the public interest, the interests of the electorate or even the interests of part of the electorate. Instead, the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Obeid was solely motivated to benefit CQR and through it himself or his family. That aspect of the jury’s finding is especially significant to an assessment of Mr Obeid’s criminality.
The next matter the jury was required to consider in relation to the third element was whether the Crown had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the conduct that Mr Obeid engaged in was misconduct, that is, a breach of the duties and obligations of his office as a Member of the Legislative Council. In that respect, the jury was instructed that parliamentarians are required to “act with fidelity and single mindedness for the welfare of the community” (Boston at 400 per Isaacs and Rich JJ) and, in particular, that parliamentarians “must act only according to what they believe to be in the public interest and the interests of the electorate and must not use their position for the purpose of promoting their own pecuniary interests or those of their family or entities close to them”. Clearly, the jury was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of that matter. It follows inexorably from the finding that Mr Obeid’s intervention was solely motivated to benefit CQR and through it himself or at least his family.
The final aspect of the third element that the jury was satisfied of beyond reasonable doubt was that Mr Obeid’s misconduct was “wilful”. In this respect, the jury was instructed that, for the misconduct to be wilful, Mr Obeid must either have known that he was obliged not to use his position in that way, or he knew that it was possible that he was obliged not to use his position in that way but chose to do so anyway (R v Obeid (No 11)  NSWSC 974). The jury’s verdict does not resolve whether the misconduct was intentional or reckless. I record that I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was intentional. As at 2007, Mr Obeid had been a Member of Parliament for 16 years and had previously been a Minister for three years. In those circumstances, I consider it inconceivable that he would not have known that he could not use his position as a parliamentarian to further his or his family’s financial interests.
The fourth element of the offence was that Mr Obeid’s misconduct was serious and merited criminal punishment having regard to the responsibilities of the office and the officeholder, the importance of the public objects which they serve and the nature and extent of the departure from those objects. In relation to this issue the jury was instructed that this crime is not established by an error or a mistake but instead the misconduct “must be worthy of condemnation and punishment.” This element of the crime posed what is often described as a “classic jury question”, namely, a question the answer to which requires a normative assessment undertaken by reference to community standards. The fact that a jury determined that Mr Obeid’s conduct was worthy of condemnation and punishment does not foreclose the adoption of any particular sentencing option. However, as I will explain, it is a significant matter to consider in sentencing Mr Obeid (see ).
Before concluding this analysis of the jury’s verdict, it is necessary to note four matters that arise out of the written submissions filed on behalf of Mr Obeid.
First, it was not part of the Crown case that Mr Dunn acted improperly and there was no evidence adduced to suggest that he did. Mr Dunn’s undisputed evidence was that he would have met with Mr Scanlan irrespective of Mr Obeid’s intervention and that the position he took in relation to the CLP was based on his own assessment. In particular, he concluded that the level of stakeholder opposition to a competitive process was very strong and that a change in the culture of the Maritime Property Division and its approach to Circular Quay tenants was necessary.
The written submissions filed on behalf of Mr Obeid contended that his representations to Mr Dunn ultimately had no effect on the decision reached by the Maritime Authority to offer new leases to CQR. The Crown did not contend to the contrary and I accept that. However, that matter cannot be taken too far. There is no evidence from which it can be concluded that Mr Obeid was aware of Mr Dunn’s attitude to the Circular Quay leases prior to making his telephone call. On the evidence adduced at the trial it was only sheer chance that, in speaking to Mr Dunn, Mr Obeid was pushing on an open door.
Second, the written submissions filed on behalf of Mr Obeid contend that he did not receive any financial benefit as a result of his offending conduct because he had only a potential interest in CQR’s businesses and because the businesses ultimately went broke and the leases were terminated. The finding that I have just made means that ultimately Mr Obeid’s representations to Mr Dunn did not confer any financial advantage on him or any member of his family. However, as I have explained, the effect of the jury’s verdict is that it found that he was solely motivated to lobby Mr Dunn to benefit either himself or his family. Given the closeness of the various family interests it makes no difference to any assessment of Mr Obeid’s criminality whether he sought to profit personally, benefit his wife, protect his sons’ investment or pursue all three.
Third, the written submissions filed on behalf of Mr Obeid incorrectly contend that the essence of Mr Obeid’s criminality was his failure to disclose his interest in the leases to Mr Dunn. Mr Obeid’s offence was not some omission to tell Mr Dunn of his or his family’s interest in CQR. The proper performance of his duty as a parliamentarian required that he not communicate with Mr Dunn for the purpose of advancing his or his family’s pecuniary interests. Nothing in this judgment should be taken as accepting that it was permissible for a parliamentarian such as Mr Obeid to lobby Mr Dunn to advance his or his family’s financial interests provided he disclose his or their interest. Whether parliamentarians can act in that manner without misconducting themselves was not an issue requiring resolution in this proceeding. In addition, I note that in this case Mr Dunn stated that, if Mr Obeid had disclosed his or his family’s interests in the Circular Quay leases, it would have affected the process of decision making in that there would have been “a very high level of transparency” in respect of the decision making process and “[m]ore records or full records would have needed to be maintained about that potential conflict of interest.”
Fourth, Mr Obeid did not give evidence at his trial or at the sentence hearing. Instead, a report from a psychologist, Dr Christopher Lennings, was tendered which included his explanation for the offence. This means of adducing such evidence is problematic in that the offender’s version cannot be tested (R v Qutami  NSWCCA 353 at  to  per Smart AJ with whom Spigelman CJ agreed). Dr Lennings’ report recounts Mr Obeid stating that for a long period he had an interest in what he regarded as the mistreatment of traders at Circular Quay which prompted him to contact Mr Dunn and that his sons’ interest in the businesses at the Quay was only “coincidental”. It follows from what I have stated that I must reject this explanation as it is completely inconsistent with the jury’s verdict.
Approach to Sentencing
In R v Obeid (No 2) NSWSC 1380 at  I observed that, even though the Parliament of New South Wales has enacted detailed statutory regimes for the detection, investigation and prevention of corrupt conduct by public officials, for reasons best known to itself, the Parliament has not enacted legislation specifying whether and, if so, what improper or corrupt conduct by its own members constitutes a crime. Instead, Parliament left that topic to the vagaries and uncertainties of the common law.
Since that statement, some of the uncertainties surrounding the application of the common law offence of wilful misconduct in public office to a parliamentarian have been resolved by the Court of Criminal Appeal’s judgment in Obeid v R NSWCCA 309. Further, in relation to sentencing, the provisions of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) (“Sentencing Act”) apply to common law offences as well as statutory offences. Five aspects of that legislation are of particular relevance to the sentencing of Mr Obied, namely:
the identification of the purposes of sentencing (s 3A);
the prohibition on a Court sentencing an offender to imprisonment unless, having considered the alternatives, it is satisfied that no other form of punishment is appropriate (s 5(1));
the power, in some circumstances, to impose home detention or an intensive correction order on a person sentenced to a term of imprisonment (ss 6 and 7);
the specification of aggravating, mitigating and other factors in sentencing (s 21A); and
the power of the Court to alter the minimum ratio between a non-parole period and the balance of a sentence if “special circumstances” are found (s 44(2)).
Nevertheless, the absence of a statutory regime governing the conduct of parliamentarians means that resort must be had, at least in part, to the common law to ascertain the relevant principles to be applied in sentencing a parliamentarian who has been convicted of wilful misconduct in public office. In particular, as wilful misconduct in public office is a common law offence there is no specified maximum penalty. This is a significant omission because, in sentencing for offences created by statute, the maximum penalty is a crucial component of the sentencing process because “[t]he maximum penalty for a statutory offence serves as an indication of the relative seriousness of the offence” and “[a]n increase in the maximum penalty for an offence is an indication that sentences for that offence should be increased” (Muldrock v The Queen HCA 39; 244 CLR 120 at ).
Instead, in sentencing for common law offences, the Courts adopt an analogous or corresponding statutory offence as a “reference point” for the imposition of a penalty (R v Hokin, Burton and Peisely NSWStRp 19; (1922) 22 SR (NSW) 280 at 291; Jaturawong v Regina NSWCCA 168; “Jaturawong”; at ; Blackstock v Regina NSWCCA 172; “Blackstock”; at ). However, the adoption of the maximum penalty for a corresponding statutory provision as a reference point does not “fetter the discretion” to impose a sentence “which remains at large” and can be greater than that maximum (Blackstock at ).
In Jaturawong at , Beazley JA (as her Honour then was and with whom Hall and Harrison JJ agreed) identified the relevant statutory analogue to the charge of misconduct in public office in that case as the offences of corruptly receiving commissions and other corrupt practices provided for in Pt 4A of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW). The maximum penalty for those offences was seven years imprisonment. In Jaturawong the principal offender was the manager of a Motor Registry who received regular payments to improperly allow applicants to obtain learner permits or drivers licences (at  to ). In Blackstock, the Court of Criminal Appeal also relied on the maximum of seven years imprisonment for the offences in Part 4A of the Crimes Act as a reference point (at ). The offender in Blackstock was a project officer employed by RailCorp who included a business in which he secretly held an interest on a list of possible contractors for consideration by his superiors (at ) and then “played a part in the allocation of work” to the business (at ).
Neither of Jaturawong nor Blackstock hold that in all cases of misconduct in public office the relevant statutory analogue are those offences set out in Pt 4A of the Crimes Act. Instead, it was only found to be the appropriate analogue in those cases. As the decisions in R v Pieper NSWDC 242 and R v Purcell NSWDC 98 discussed below illustrate, the breadth of circumstances that could constitute the offence of misconduct in public office mean that other statutory analogues may be appropriate in a given case.
In this case I am satisfied that the offences found in Pt 4A of the Crimes Actare the relevant analogue. Section 249B(1) of the Crimes Act effectively criminalises most forms of bribery by making it an offence for an agent to receive or solicit a benefit as an inducement or reward for doing something or not doing something in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal. This provision is directed at an agent who receives or solicits a corrupt reward to breach their duty to their principal. Mr Obeid’s offending is broadly analogous to this because his conduct involved him breaching his duty to the public by using his position to further his or his family’s financial interests. There is no difference in substance between a parliamentarian receiving a bribe to advance the private interests of a third party and a parliamentarian using their position to advance their own pecuniary interests.
Nevertheless, accepting that the offences found in Pt 4A, especially s 249B, are the relevant analogue, a comparison of the elements of the crime of wilful misconduct in public office with the offence of corruptly receiving a commission or reward in s 249B(1) reveals two differences of significance.
The first is that the class of persons caught by the offence of wilful misconduct in public office generally occupy a more senior position than those caught by s 249B(1). With the latter, the persons subject to the offence are those who satisfy the definition of “agent” in s 249A, which includes “any person employed by, or acting for or on behalf of, any other person” (sub-s (a)). With wilful misconduct in public office the concept of “public office” is broad but it does not extend to all persons employed by or acting on behalf of the State (Ex parte Kearney  NSW St Rp 68; 17 SR (NSW) 578).
The second is that, as already noted, it is an element of wilful misconduct in public office that the relevant misconduct was serious and merited criminal punishment. There is no equivalent element for any of the offences found in Pt 4A of the Crimes Act.
Each of these differences bear out the justification for the Court not being limited by the maximum penalty for the relevant statutory analogue, in this case seven years imprisonment.
Another matter of significance to the sentencing exercise is the consideration of sentences in other cases both in terms of comparing sentencing outcomes and discerning what are the “unifying principles which those sentences both reveal and reflect” (see Barbaro v The Queen; Zirilli v The Queen HCA 2; (2014) 253 CLR 58 at ). The difficulty is that there is not a significant cohort of sentences for the offence of wiful misconduct in public office and none concern a parliamentarian. Thus, in Jansen v Regina NSWCCA 301 (“Jansen”) at  to  Campbell J noted the breadth of circumstances that could give rise to the offence of wilful misconduct in public office and that the available cohort of such cases was so small that they “are not capable of providing useful material that may establish a [sentencing pattern]”. This is borne out by the sentencing statistics compiled by the Judicial Commission of New South Wales which only disclose ten sentences imposed for the offence since 2009, seven of which involved full time custody and the balance of which involved the imposition of an Intensive Corrections Order.
Nevertheless, the parties placed before the Court the results of their research concerning sentences for wilful misconduct in public office and for other offences committed by or concerning parliamentarians. Out of deference to the parties’ efforts I will briefly describe some of the cases referred to.
I have already outlined some of the facts of Jaturawong and Blackstock. In Jaturawong the principal offender had pleaded guilty to wilful misconduct in public office and a number of charges under s 249B of the Crimes Act which yielded a 20 per cent discount (at ). He was sentenced to two years six months imprisonment with a nonparole period of 12 months for the misconduct charge (at ). The principal offender did not appeal. Instead, the appeal in Jaturawong concerned the sentence imposed on an accessory before the fact, which was upheld on parity grounds. In Blackstock the applicant received a discount of 25 per cent on account of their plea of guilty (at ). He was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a nonparole period of three years (at ). His appeal was dismissed. Campbell J observed that the sentence was “within the range available” to the sentencing judge (at ).
In Jansen a police officer who pleaded guilty to accessing police intelligence and other sensitive information and disseminating it was sentenced to a nonparole period of two years and additional terms of two and half years (at ). A number of other charges were included on a Form 1 under s 33 of the Sentencing Actand he was sentenced for various summary offences pursuant to s 166 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) (at ).
In Hughes v R NSWCCA 15, the unsuccessful applicant for leave to appeal against sentence was a police officer who accessed a police database and created false intelligence reports. She pleaded guilty to two counts of wilful misconduct in public office, and two offences of giving false evidence to the Police Integrity Commission. For the first of the misconduct offences she received a fixed term of seven months imprisonment and for the second she received a total sentence of 18 months imprisonment with a nonparole period of nine months (at ).
In R v Pieper NSWDC 242, the offender pleaded guilty to six counts of misconduct in public office and received a number of individual sentences totalling four years and nine months with an effective non-parole period of three years. The offender was the general manager of a County Council (at ) who orchestrated various frauds that resulted in his misappropriating over $350,000 (at ). Letherbarrow DCJ identified the relevant statutory analogue as larceny by a servant, the maximum penalty for which was ten years imprisonment (at ).
In R v Purcell NSWDC 98, the offender was a police superintendent who persistently and deliberately disobeyed a direction from a superior officer concerning what the offender could say to members of the press about certain sexual assaults committed in the local area under his command (at ). Berman DCJ identified the relevant statutory analogue as an offence under s 201 of the Police Act1990(NSW)which carries a maximum penalty of a fine (at ). The offender was fined $2000 (at ).
The written submissions filed on behalf Mr Obeid also referred to various sentencing decisions of interstate courts for wilful misconduct in public office. I have considered those authorities. None of them concern a parliamentarian, nor do they reveal any materially different outcome to the decisions of the courts of this State. The small number of them only confirms the infrequency with which sentences are imposed for this offence.
These cases illustrate the variety of public officials who can commit the offence of wilful misconduct in public office and the variety of circumstances that can constitute the crime. These cases also illustrate that matters such as the period of the offending, the planning involved, its motivation and the direct loss occasioned or profit derived are all matters that bear upon an assessment of the level of criminality involved. However, the essence of the offence concerns a breach of trust in the form of a deliberate or reckless breach of a duty owed by a public official to the public (see DPP v Markssupra at ; HKSAR v Wong Kwong Shun Paul  4 HKLRD 840 at  per Yeung JA; Question of Law Reserved (No 2 of 1996) SASC 5674; 1996 67 SASR 63 at 66 per Doyle CJ). It must follow that a very significant matter to any assessment of the level of criminality involved is the nature of the duty that is owed and the extent of the breach. The more senior the public official the greater the level of public trust in their position and the more onerous the duty that is imposed. Under this State’s constitutional arrangements, and leaving aside the third arm of government, only Ministers occupy a more senior position than that occupied by parliamentarians.
In its written submissions the Crown identified five cases involving offences either committed by or concerning parliamentarians, including Ministers. In this State the most notorious is Jackson & Hakim v R (1988) 33 A Crim R 413 (“Jackson”) in which the then Minister for Corrective Services was convicted of conspiracy for receiving bribes to effect the early release of prisoners on parole. Following a successful Crown appeal Jackson was resentenced to imprisonment for 10 years with a nonparole period of five years. In R v Rouse (Court of Criminal Appeal (Tas), 19 October 1990, unreported), (“Rouse”)a Crown appeal against the sentence of three years imprisonment imposed on a prominent businessman was dismissed. The offender had pleaded guilty to offering a bribe to a member of the Tasmanian Parliament to cross the floor. In R v Nuttall; ex parte Attorney-General(Qld)  QCA 120; 209 A Crim R 538 (“Nuttall”) a Crown appeal against the sentence imposed upon a Queensland Cabinet Minister convicted of receiving secret commissions to plan and promote projects of his associates, was upheld. The offender was resentenced to imprisonment for a term of seven years, which ran concurrently with terms of imprisonment imposed for perjury offences.
In R v Phillip Hans Field HC Auckland CRI-2007-092-18132, 6 October 2009 (“Field”) a member of the New Zealand Parliament was sentenced to concurrent sentences of four years imprisonment on each of eleven counts of bribery and corruption (at ). In his capacity as a parliamentarian, the offender had proffered advice and assistance to various trades people while accepting benefits from them in the form of work done on his properties (at ). In R v Bruneau,1963 CarswellOnt 22;  1CCC 97;  1 OR 263, 42 CR 93 (“Bruneau”) a member of the Canadian Parliament who receive a corrupt payment to use his influence to have the Federal Government purchase the payer of the bribe’s property was resentenced to imprisonment for five years following a successful Crown appeal against the imposition of a suspended sentence.
None of these cases concerning parliamentarians (including Ministers) establish some form of range of sentences relevant to this case. They involve different offences with different maximum penalties and, with one exception, concern different jurisdictions. Nevertheless, despite their differences a number of common propositions emerge.
First, with the exception of Rouse, all these cases emphasise the onerous duty imposed on either parliamentarians or Ministers and the strictness which departures from that duty will be dealt with (Jackson at 436 per Lee J with whom Finlay J agreed; Nuttall at  per Muir JA with whom Fraser and Chesterman JJA agreed; Bruneau at  per McLennan JA).
Second, while in some of the cases issues such as whether loss or damage was occasioned by the offending or a profit was made were relevant, in all the cases the Courts emphasised that the real damage caused by the offending conduct was to the institutions of government and public confidence in them (Jackson at 435 per Lee J with whom Finlay J agreed; Nuttall at  per Muir JA with whom Fraser and Chesterman JJA agreed; Rouse BC900030 at 8 per Cox J with whom Underwood and Wright JJ agreed; Field at  per Hansen J; Bruneau at  per McLennan JA).
Third, in each case the necessity for the sentence to reflect considerations of general deterrence and denunciation predominated over other sentencing considerations (Jackson at 436 per Lee J with whom Finlay J agreed; Nuttall at  with whom Fraser and Chesterman JJA agreed; Rouse BC900030 at 9 per Cox J with whom Underwood and Wright JJ agreed; Field at  per Hansen J; Bruneau at  per McLennan JA).
Fourth, in each case the prior good character of the offender was afforded less weight in the sentencing process than it would for other offences (Jackson at 436 per Lee J with whom Finlay JA agree; Nuttall at  per Muir JA with whom Fraser and Chesterman JJA agreed; Rouse BC900030 at 9 per Cox J with whom Underwood and Wright JJ agreed; Field at  per Hansen J; Bruneau at  per McLennan JA).
All of these propositions are apposite to Mr Obeid’s case.
At this point it is appropriate to address the competing submissions concerning the relative seriousness of Mr Obeid’s offending. I have already described Mr Obeid’s conduct and the state of mind that accompanied it. It is to be remembered that his offending conduct comprised a single phone call to Mr Dunn, although it was accompanied by follow up calls. As was submitted on behalf of Mr Obeid, he did not expressly advocate any outcome to Mr Dunn although the effect of his intervention was that the position Mr Scanlan was advocating should be strongly considered. Further, in the end result Mr Obeid’s intervention did not cause a change in the CLP. Relying on these and other matters it was submitted on behalf of Mr Obeid that his offending was “at the very bottom of the scale of objective seriousness for an offence of its kind.” I disagree. For the reasons I have just explained, what must be at the forefront of any consideration of seriousness is the nature of the duty owed by Mr Obeid as a parliamentarian and the extent of the departure from that duty. The onerous nature of the former has been addressed. The relatively limited nature of Mr Obeid’s intervention in the process of renewing CQR’s leases bears on the latter but so does the finding of the jury that Mr Obeid intervened solely to benefit CQR, and through it, himself or his family.
It can be accepted that Mr Obeid’s conduct was in the middle to lower end of the range of corrupt conduct by a parliamentarian that may amount to the crime of wilful misconduct in public office. However, that is not the proper inquiry. Instead, the relevant assessment is that, in the range of misconduct that might be engaged in by public officials which can constitute the offence of wilful misconduct in public office, Mr Obeid’s conduct was a very serious example of the offence because of the onerous nature of the duty owed by him as a parliamentarian compared to other such officials and the extent of his departure from it.
Mr Obeid’s Subjective Case
The report of Dr Lennings referred to earlier also recounted aspects of Mr Obeid’s personal history. Unlike his account of the offence this was not controversial and was generally consistent with the other material that was tendered. Dr Lennings’ report reveals the following. Mr Obeid was born in Lebanon in 1943. He migrated to Australia with his family when he was six years old. His father was a clothes salesman but tragically died when Mr Obeid was nine years old. After experiencing financial hardship, Mr Obeid and other members of his family returned to Lebanon in 1956 where he completed his schooling. He returned to Australia six years later. He married his wife Judith in 1965. He and his wife had ten children over the next decade. One has since passed away. Mr Obeid studied commerce part time while working in a glass factory. He worked in an accounting firm and then with a building company. Mr Obeid achieved financial success from a printing and newspaper business which he sold in 1986, as well from property development. As already noted, in 1991 he was elected to Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council and he retired in 2011 having been a Minister for four years from 1999.
Prior to his election to Parliament Mr Obeid achieved a prominent position in the Lebanese and wider community. During the 1980s he served on the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, was a part time Commissioner of the Ethnic Affairs Commission, served on the Board of Governors of the Law Foundation of New South Wales and was Vice President of the Ethnic Press Association of Australia. In 1990 he led a delegation to Iraq which secured the release of some hostages held by the Iraqi regime just prior to the first Gulf War.
There was tendered at the sentence hearing a number of testimonial statements concerning the significant support that Mr Obeid has provided to his Church and the work it performs,  including from his parish priest and Archbishop. A similar letter of support was provided by the President of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council of Australia.
A number of other testimonials referred to his work for other community organisations as well as various acts of kindness he has performed for persons and organisations in need over the years. This included his support for various charities in Australian and Lebanon, support for sporting clubs, his funding of the rebuilding of a church in Lebanon, assisting a neighbour who was the subject of a home invasion, providing support for Lebanese community organisations and his efforts to assist Lebanese refugees seeking to resettle in Australia. Numerous friends and acquaintances of Mr Obeid testify to his generous nature and the position of leadership in the community that he occupied.
This material, and the absence of any prior convictions, means that Mr Obeid is to be considered of prior good character and that is a mitigating factor in sentencing (Sentencing Act; s 21A(3)(f)). However, consistent with what I have already observed (at ), in cases of corruption including wilful misconduct in public office where the need for general deterrence is especially strong, prior good character is to be afforded less weight than it otherwise would (R v Rivkin (2004) 59 NSWLR 284;  NSWCCA 7 at  and R v Williams  NSWSC 315; (2005) 152 A Crim R 548, at  per Wood CJ at CL; Blackstock at  per Campbell J with whom Macfarlan JA and Barr AJ agreed).
Mr Obeid has been married for over 50 years. He has nine children and 33 grandchildren. Many members of his family provided testamentary material in support of Mr Obeid, including three of his grandchildren, various nieces and nephews, some of his sons and daughters in law, and some of his children. They all referred to Mr Obeid’s devotion to his family and his support for them. While this material undoubtedly arouses sympathy, it is of no real assistance to Mr Obeid. There is no doubt that the members of Mr Obeid’s family are exceptionally close. However, it was Mr Obeid’s actions in prioritising the interests of his family over his obligation to the public that led to his offending in the first place. A parliamentarian cannot use their position to afford generosity to their family or associates in any form.
A number of the testimonials from family members also referred to the effect on them of the adverse publicity that Mr Obeid has received over the years and their distress at the prospect that he may be incarcerated. For example, one of Mr Obeid’s grandsons recounted having to defend his grandfather in the schoolyard and the classroom. Dr Lennings also interviewed Judith Obeid and his report confirms the severe distress that she has suffered from the adverse publicity her husband has attracted and the prospect that he may be incarcerated. At the sentencing hearing a statement from Judith Obeid was tendered. In that statement Mrs Obeid describes her long and successful marriage. She states how hard her husband has worked for their family and how supportive he has been towards her.
Clearly, Mrs Obeid’s family is her life. I accept that any decision to incarcerate Mr Obeid will cause significant distress to Judith Obeid. Dr Lennings opines that in turn Mr Obeid will be distressed by his wife’s suffering. This too can be accepted. I address below the relevance of the impact of adverse publicity. Leaving that aside, the occasioning of hardship to the family of an offender from their imprisonment is only taken into account, at least in a substantial way, in “exceptional circumstances” (see Hay v R  NSWCCA 22 at ). The hardship that would be occasioned to Mr Obeid’s family, including Judith Obeid, if he was imprisoned does not meet that description. Otherwise, it can be accepted that Mr Obeid’s reaction to the harm that his own conduct has caused to his family can be considered in the synthesis of the various factors affecting the determination of the appropriate sentence.
The written submissions lodged on behalf of Mr Obeid contend that he has suffered a form of extra curial punishment from extensive media coverage which, it was submitted, had humiliated him and, as noted, affected members of his family.  In support of that submission there was tendered at the sentence hearing two volumes of press clippings concerning Mr Obeid’s trial, which included online reports. All the reports published prior to the jury’s verdict reported on the trial in a manner consistent with the media’s obligations. The reports published after the verdict concern such matters as Mr Obeid’s career, commentary on the verdict, coverage of civil proceedings initiated by Mr Obeid, the adjournments of the sentence hearing, a proposal floated by senior politicians to seek legislative change to remove Mr Obeid’s right to a parliamentary pension and some unsolicited advice to the Court on the appropriate sentence. Some of the reporting on the jury’s verdict and its aftermath was somewhat unrestrained (eg “Obeid a disgrace”, “…Fast Eddie, the Labor godfather” and “The Cancer that ate Labor”). However, generally all the reports were concerned with the subject matter of corruption and politics, which is selfevidently a topic of legitimate public debate.
A recent example whereby a sentence was mitigated on account of extensive publicity was R v Wran NSWSC 1015 (“Wran”), where articles were published that made allegations about the offender’s “criminality, sexual conduct and reputation that [had] no basis in fact but from which she [had] no ability to defend herself” (at ). It was also found in Wran that material that was published represented a gross invasion of the offender’s privacy in that her “private correspondence [had] been extracted for prurient consumption” and transcripts of her telephone conversations with her mother were made available to the public (Wran at ). In those circumstances, Harrison J concluded that the sentence imposed should take account of these publications as they increased “the risk of custodial retribution”, damaged the offender’s reputation and impeded her “recovery from her ongoing mental health and drug related problems” (Wran at ).
Wran is an example of a case where extra curial punishment was occasioned by the publication of humiliating material obtained as a result of criminal charges being laid that was either unrelated to the offending in question or where the level of publicity for the material was disproportionate to any relevance it had to the offence in question. The offender in Wran was not a public figure and her offending did not involve the abuse of any public position.
In this case the offender is a public figure, the offending did involve the abuse of a public position and the media reports that have been tendered do not sensationalise facts that are either irrelevant or trivial to the offending conduct. Instead, they are concerned with an issue of public importance, namely, political corruption. In those circumstances it seems incongruous that the consequential public humiliation should mitigate the sentence. Nevertheless, there is a body of authority to suggest that it can. In Ryan v The Queen HCA 21; (2001) 206 CLR 267 (“Ryan”) at , Callinan J observed that “the crime of a person occupying an office of some prominence will often attract much greater vilification, adverse publicity, public humiliation, and personal, social and family stress than a crime by a person not so circumstanced” and that those consequences “should not be ignored by the sentencing court”. Kirby J stated a similar view (at ) but McHugh J was of the contrary opinion (at ).
This difference of opinion was adverted to by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Kenny v R NSWCCA 6 (“Kenny”) at  to  per Basten JA and Einfeld v R NSWCCA 87 (“Einfeld”) at  per Basten JA. In the end result, the principle binding this Court at first instance appears to be that such publicity will only be considered where “it reaches such proportion as to have a physical or psychological effect on the offender” (Duncan v R NSWCCA 78 at  per Basten JA citing Kenny at  per Howie J; see also Nuttall at ). At first instance, in Einfeld the relevant publicity was found to have that effect (R v Einfeld NSWSC 119 at  per James J).
Dr Lennings’ report describes Mr Obeid as stating that his reputation has been destroyed, but neither it nor the testimonial material describes the adverse publicity that Mr Obeid has received, much less that which relates to this case, as having had any direct physical or psychological effect on him. Instead, it has had an effect on his family. It follows that it is only in the relatively limited sense that Mr Obeid is affected by their suffering from the consequences of his offending that this can be considered.
It was also submitted that the potential loss of Mr Obeid’s parliamentary pension can be taken into account. The loss of financial benefits such as superannuation can be considered in determining sentence (Ryan at  per McHugh J). Accordingly, I can and will afford this some weight but not much given that the only evidence suggesting this may occur are the press reports to which I have referred.
A number of medical reports concerning Mr Obeid were tendered at the sentencing hearing. Those reports reveal that Mr Obeid underwent bypass surgery in 1995 and 2005 and had arterial stenting procedures in 1999 and again in 2015 following an episode of chest pain and breathlessness. Mr Obeid has suffered from type 2 diabetes for years. He must ingest insulin with his meals and receives a longacting insulin injection daily. According to his treating endocrinologist, Dr Kean, he “self manage[s] his diabetes currently without difficulty”. Otherwise, Mr Obeid suffers from raised cholesterol, high blood pressure and colonic polyps that require periodic colonoscopies. He has previously suffered from GuillainBarre Syndrome, which is a rapid-onset of muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system. It is presently stable. Further, a thoracic physician reports that scans show that Mr Obeid has “asbestos related pulmonary disease” and bronchiectasis.
On 3 August 2016, Mr Obeid tripped at home and fell onto a coffee table which collapsed under him. He was taken to a hospital on the North shore of Sydney but discharged. The next day he attended his general practitioner, Dr Lahood, who commissioned an MRI scan and had him admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital. He came under the care of Dr John O’Neill who concluded that he had suffered a mild stroke caused by an embolism and prescribed blood thinning medication.
Mr Obeid was referred to Dr David Rosen a consultant neurologist who examined him and reviewed his condition in light of the totality of the available material concerning all of his various medical conditions. He concluded that Mr Obeid has “ongoing post stroke symptoms and impairments that affect mainly his gait and balance”. He considered that there was some “permanent albeit relatively mild damage … to the right side of the brain” as seen on an MRI scan. Dr Rosen estimated that Mr Obeid had a risk of a recurrent stroke from any cause “in the region of 5% per year.”
The Crown arranged for Mr Obeid to be reviewed by a consultant geriatrician and physician, Dr Tuly Rosenfeld. Dr Rosenfeld’s assessment of Mr Obeid’s neurological status was not relevantly different to that of Dr Rosen. Dr Rosenfeld detected “[m]ild cognitive impairment”.
Overall, Dr Rosenfeld concluded that the various medical conditions from which Mr Obeid suffers are “stable and controlled” and there “is no clearly foreseeable expectation in the short to midterm that specific interventions will be required”. However, he accepts that there is a “need for regular monitoring and review, adjustment of specific therapies from time to time, blood investigations, diabetic dietary measures, physical therapy and exercise”. Dr Rosen’s description of the type of care required by Mr Obeid is not relevantly different in that he considers that Mr Obeid “ideally” requires a “well coordinated management plan” that “takes into consideration each of Mr Obeid’s medical conditions” and medicinal requirements.
Two interrelated issues of fact were raised by the material concerning Mr Obeid’s medical condition, namely, the likely standard of care that he can expect to receive if he is incarcerated and his likely life expectancy if he is incarcerated compared with his life expectancy if he serves a sentence in the community.
The Crown tendered a number of reports from “Justice Health” being a statutory health corporation the functions of which include the provision of health services to offenders and persons in custody (Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999(NSW); s 236A). These reports address the various conditions affecting Mr Obeid and describe the medical services that will be available to him to address them if he is incarcerated. The reports state that Justice Health’s services include 24hour nursing in some metropolitan centres, regular medical officer and nursing clinics, a physiotherapy service at the major metropolitan correctional centres, a medical subacute unit within the Long Bay hospital, an aged care rehabilitation unit at Long Bay hospital and access to specialists at the Prince of Wales Hospital.  The reports indicate that, if Mr Obeid is incarcerated, Justice Health will request that he be accommodated in the metropolitan area at a facility that has full time nursing care and nearby access to specialists and emergency departments.
Dr Rosen considered it was unlikely that Mr Obeid would receive appropriate medical treatment in custody if he was incarcerated. He considered that there were “difficulties” with “managing chronic diseases with access to appropriate and timely care in the prison system”. Dr Rosenfeld disagreed. He was formerly the Director of Geriatric Medicine and Senior Specialist in Geriatric Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital which, as noted, interacts with Justice Health. Based on his knowledge of Justice Health, which he accepts has limitations, Dr Rosenfeld considers it “likely that Mr Obeid would be able to access appropriate and effective care within the Justice Health system”.
In his oral submissions, the Crown Prosecutor did not accept that Mr Obeid would receive a superior level of care if he remained in the community compared with what he would receive if he is incarcerated. While that may be the case for some members of the population I do not accept that it is correct for Mr Obeid. As the events of August 2016 illustrate, Mr Obeid has an existing support network that includes an experienced general practitioner, a strongly supportive family and specialists familiar with his circumstances. The Crown Prosecutor’s written submissions contend that Mr Obeid’s present treatment regime is “wholly medication based”. However, the nature of Mr Obeid’s ailments are such that he needs to be monitored. While there is obviously a form of supervision in custody, that is not the same as the level of family and medical support that Mr Obeid has in the community. Nevertheless, while I accept that Mr Obeid would receive a superior level of care in the community, the material tendered by the Crown on this issue at least satisfied me that he would receive an adequate level of care if he is incarcerated. As noted by Dr Rosenfeld, Mr Obeid’s present condition is “stable and controlled”.
Leaving aside the possibility that he may be incarcerated, Dr Rosen and Dr Rosenfeld were in broad agreement as to Mr Obeid’s life expectancy in light of his various medical conditions. Dr Rosen estimated that it was between 76.6 years and 77.7 years and Dr Rosenfeld estimated that it was 80.3 years. However, Dr Rosen estimated that Mr Obeid’s life expectancy would reduce much further if he was incarcerated, specifically, by two years for every year he was in custody. Dr Rosenfeld noted that this conclusion was based on a study of a cohort of New York prisoners who were released from prison after most of them committed violent or drug related crimes. I do not accept that that study has any relevance to Mr Obeid’s circumstances and I do not accept Dr Rosen’s estimate of Mr Obeid’s life expectancy should he be incarcerated. Instead, I consider that it is within the range of 77 to 80 years that I have mentioned.
On behalf of Mr Obeid it was submitted that his limited life expectancy was a matter that warranted grounds for leniency. It was otherwise submitted that custody would be onerous for someone of his age and with his ailments and that he would receive a far superior level of care in the community.
The principles relevant to a submission that a penalty should be mitigated on account of health concerns and the relevance of the length of a sentence to a person’s life expectancy can be briefly stated as follows.
First, in circumstances where illness is relevant to the determination of a sentence, its weight must be assessed in light of “all the circumstances of the case, and an appropriate balance has to be maintained between the criminality of the offender and any damage to health or shortening of life” (R v Achurch NSWCCA 186; 216 A Crim R 152, “Achurch” at  per Johnson J citing: R v Sopher (1993) 70 A Crim R 570 at 573; R v BJW  NSWCCA 60; 112 A Crim R 1 at 6-8 – ).
Second, although the health of an offender is relevant to the type and length of any sanction imposed, generally it will only be a mitigating factor “when there is evidence to show that there is a serious risk that imprisonment will be a greater burden on an offender, by reason of ill health, or where there is a serious risk that imprisonment will have a grave adverse effect on the offender’s health”(R v Badanjak NSWCCA 395 at  per Wood CJ at CL with McClellan AJA and Smart AJ agreeing; R v Smith(1987) 44 SASR 587 at 589; Achurch at ).
Third, the relative strictness that is applied to a consideration of whether some matter affecting the health of an offender operates as a substantial mitigating factor does not necessarily apply when such matters are considered in combination with other factors such as age in determining whether “special circumstances” are established for the purposes of s 44(2) of the Sentencing Act (see Griffiths v The Queen HCA 39; (1989) 167 CLR 372 at 379 per Brennan and Dawson JJ; R v Simpson NSWCCA 534; 53 NSWLR 704). However, double counting of matters affecting the length of the head sentence and matters that might constitute special circumstances must be avoided (R v Fidow NSWCCA 172 at  per Spigelman CJ (“Fidow”)).
Fourth, an otherwise appropriate sentence of imprisonment should not be reduced on the basis that it is likely to extend to most of the offender’s remaining life expectancy (Goebel-McGregor v R NSWCCA 390 at  per James J, with whom Hidden and Hislop JJ agreed; Barton v R NSWCCA 164 at ).
I have described the ailments affecting Mr Obeid and his treatment regime. They are not unusual for a person of his age. I accept that they may make any time he serves in custody more difficult and that it is unlikely that he would receive the same standard of care that he would receive in the community, although it will nevertheless be an adequate standard. However, I do not accept that the combination of his age, health and reduced life expectancy is a matter of any real significance to a determination of whether he should be incarcerated or not. If he is to be incarcerated those matters can be taken into account in the mix of factors relevant to a determination of the appropriate length of the sentence but not to any significant degree. I also accept that his age and health might, with other factors, constitute special circumstances, however as just stated they cannot be taken into account as both mitigating any head sentence and determining the existence of special circumstances (Fidow).
On behalf of Mr Obeid, it was submitted that there was a significant delay on the part of the prosecuting authorities in commencing the prosecution in that the offence was committed in 2007, when Mr Obeid was 63, yet proceedings were only commenced against him in November 2014. It is an agreed fact that the relevant hearings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (“ICAC”) into this matter commenced in October 2013, that the ICAC report was published in June 2014 and a brief of material was provided to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions during September and October 2014.
This history does not indicate any undue delay between the commencement of the ICAC hearing and the commencement of the proceedings. In relation to the period between the commission of the offence in 2007 and the commencement of the ICAC hearing, there is nothing to indicate that any relevant investigative or prosecutorial body was on notice of the commission of an offence during that period. Corrupt conduct is notoriously difficult to detect, much less prosecute.
The delay between the commission of an offence and the imposition of a sentence is potentially relevant in three respects. The first is that the “uncertain suspense in which a person may be left” for an extended period can be taken into account (Blanco v R NSWCCA 121 (“Blanco”) at ). In circumstances where it has not been shown that any relevant investigative or prosecutorial body was on notice of Mr Obeid’s conduct and delayed taking action, I do not accept that this aspect of delay has any relevance to his sentencing (cf Coles v R NSWCCA 32 at ). The second is that an offender may demonstrate progress towards rehabilitation in the intervening period (Blanco at ). Mr Obeid will be sentenced on the basis that there is no prospect of him offending again. The third is that a “sentence for a stale crime does call for a measure of understanding and flexibility of approach” (Blanco id). I do not accept that Mr Obeid’s offence is a “stale crime”.
Other Sentencing Factors
Section 21A(2) of the Sentencing Act lists a series of aggravating factors the Court is to take into account in determining the appropriate sentence. These factors cannot be considered as aggravating the offence if they are elements of the offence. Section 21A(3) lists a series of mitigating factors.
The only specific aggravating factor pointed to by the Crown is that the “the offence was committed for financial gain” (Sentencing Act, s 21A(2)(o)). I have already explained the effect of the jury’s verdict in that respect and this has formed part of the assessment of the level of criminality involved in the commission of the offence. It cannot be considered as a further aggravating factor at this point.
On behalf of Mr Obeid it was submitted that eight mitigating factors were established. The first was that “the injury, emotional harm, loss or damage caused by the offence was not substantial” (s 21A(3)(a)). I have accepted that Mr Obeid’s representations to Mr Dunn had no effect on the ultimate decision to offer CQR new leases. In that respect, no loss or damage was occasioned. However, as I have explained, the crime of wilful misconduct in public office necessarily involves a violation of a public trust. When that involves a parliamentarian, damage is caused to the institutions of government, specifically Parliament.
The second mitigating factor submitted on behalf of Mr Obeid was that the offence was not part of a planned or organised criminal activity (s 21A(3)(b)). I do not accept that this mitigating factor has been established. While the Crown did not prove that Mr Obeid had been planning to intervene in the lease renewal process for some time, it was not positively established that his actions were spontaneous.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth mitigating factors suggested on behalf of Mr Obeid were that the offender does not have any record (or any significant record) of previous convictions (s 21A(3)(e)), that the offender was a person of good character (s 21A(3)(f)), that the offender is unlikely to re-offend (s 21A(2)(g)) and that the offender has good prospects of rehabilitation, whether by reason of the offender’s age or otherwise (s 21A(3)(h). All these factors are established.
The seventh mitigating factor is that remorse has been shown by the offender for the offence. Section 21A(3)(i) of the Sentencing Act provides that the remorse of an offender is a mitigating factor, but only if the offender has provided “evidence that he or she has accepted responsibility for his or her actions” (sub-s(i)) and “has acknowledged any injury, loss or damage caused by his or her actions or made reparation for such injury, loss or damage” (subs (ii)). Mr Obeid has done neither.
The eighth and last mitigating factor relied on by Mr Obeid, was that he provided assistance to law enforcement authorities (s 21A(3)(m)). The written submissions filed on behalf of Mr Obeid referred to the cooperative and efficient manner in which the trial was conducted and contended that this amounted to “assistance provided to law enforcement authorities …. in proceedings relating to, the offence concerned” as referred to in s 23 of the Sentencing Act. This aspect of s 23 is directed to persons who give evidence or assistance to the prosecution or volunteer additional information concerning their own conduct and not to the cooperation by an accused in the conduct of their own trial as occurred here. However, the conduct of the trial by an accused can still be considered. Section 21A(3)(l) provides that the degree of pre-trial disclosure by the defence is a mitigating factor in sentencing. Section 22A(1) expands upon this by enabling a court to impose a lesser penalty than would otherwise be the case having regard to the degree to which the administration of justice has been facilitated by an offender’s defence, including by disclosures made prior to or during the trial. Any such lesser penalty must not be disproportionate to the nature and circumstances of the offence (s 22A(2)).
I accept that the manner in which the trial was conducted by and on behalf of Mr Obeid warrants some leniency on this account. The cross examination of the Crown witnesses was concise. There were a number of admissions made and agreements reached over the contents of exhibits which shortened the length of the trial and made the identification of the real issues that the jury had to determine that much easier.
Courts do not determine sentences by consulting opinion polls or surveying the views of the political commentariat. Instead, they undertake an objective assessment of the nature of the offending, determine the personal circumstances of the offender and then apply principles derived from statute and case law.
To that end, I have described the conduct of Mr Obeid that constituted the crime of wilful misconduct in public office. As noted, even though it was effectively constituted by a single telephone call, his conduct was a very serious example of that offence given the nature of the duty owed by him as a parliamentarian and the extent of his departure from that duty. I have also canvassed the other considerations relevant to sentencing and in doing so described Mr Obeid’s career and personal circumstances. If Mr Obeid had not wilfully abused his position as a parliamentarian then his life and career would be a testament to the values of hard work, family and public service. Instead, his time in public life has produced a very different legacy.
Section 3A of the Sentencing Act specifies the purposes of sentencing. These include specifically deterring the offender from committing similar offences (s 3A(b)), protecting the community from the offender (s 3A(c)) and promoting the rehabilitation of the offender (s 3A(d)). In Mr Obeid’s case there is no prospect of him committing any further offence and the community does not now need any protection from him.
Section 3A also specifies that the purposes of sentencing include ensuring the offender is adequately punished for the offence (s 3A(a)), making the offender accountable for their actions (s 3A(e)), denouncing the conduct of the offender (s 3A(f)), recognising the harm done to the community by the offence (s 3A(g)) and deterring others from committing similar offences (s 3A(b)).
The overwhelming majority of parliamentarians are not motivated by an intention to enrich themselves or their families. Instead, they act in what they believe to be the best interests of the electorate, cognisant that the most likely reward for their service is persistent criticism and ultimately electoral rejection. The continuity and relative strength of our parliamentary democracy is a product of their efforts and the maintenance of public confidence in their honesty. All the work of parliamentarians can be destroyed by the wilful misconduct of only some of their members. Corruption by elected representatives consumes democracies. It destroys public confidence in democratic institutions. It opens up consideration of alternative modes of government, especially those that offer an illusion of security and order.
It follows that the need for general deterrence, denunciation and recognition of the harm done to the community are the dominant considerations in determining the appropriate sentence for a parliamentarian convicted of wilful misconduct in public office in these circumstances. Given the nature of the offending and notwithstanding Mr Obeid’s personal circumstances, I am satisfied that, having considered all possible alternatives, no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate (Sentencing Act; s 5(1). I have also determined that such a sentence must be one that is served by full time imprisonment for a period that exceeds the length of the sentence that would otherwise enable consideration of the possibility of home detention or the imposition of an intensive correction order (Sentencing Act; s 6(1) and 7(1)). However, as adverted to (at ), the combination of Mr Obeid’s health and age justifies a finding of special circumstances and a variation of the maximum ratio between the balance of term and the nonparole period referred to in s 44(2) of the Sentencing Act.
Edward Moses Obeid, I note that you have already been convicted of wilful misconduct in public office. You are now sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years.
Pursuant to s 44(1) and s 44(2) of the Sentencing Act and in light of the finding of special circumstances, I set a non-parole period of 3 years commencing on 15 December 2016, and an additional term of 2 years commencing on 15 December 2019 and ending on 14 December 2021.
The sentence will be taken to have commenced on 15 December 2016. The offender will be eligible for release on parole on 15 December 2019 and the sentence will expire on 14 December 2021.
 HCA 5; 83 CLR 1 (the “Communist Party Case”)  At p 187  Ex A, p 7 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex A, p 7 at   Ex A, p 7 at  to   Ex A, p 127  Ex A, pp 1 to 3  Ex A, pp 37 to 38  T 07/06/16 at 57.5  T 07/07/16 at 101.45  Ex A, pp 85 and 92  Ex A, p 7 at   Ex A, p 7 at   Ex A, pp 24 and 35  T 07/06/2016 at 102.41, 104.29, 109.4 and 110  T 07/06/16 at 108.32  T 07/06/2016 at 108  T 08/06/2016 at 133.42  T 07/06/16 at 100; T 08/06/16 at 133.11  T 07/06/16 at 111  T 08/06/16 at 139.21  T 07/06/16 at 114.44  T 08/06/16 at 134 to 135, esp 135.15  T 08/06/16 at 134.40  Ex C  Ex A, pp 46a and 46c; Ex D  Ex A, pp 48a and 48d  T 14/06/16 at 360  Summing up (“SU”), p 14  T 15/06/16 at 432.49  T 14/06/16 at 368.31 and 372  T 14/06/16 at 373.15  T 15/06/16 at 428.7  T 14/06/16 at 372.47  T 15/06/16 at 426.1  T 15/06/16 at 427.40  T 08/06/16 at 136.6 to 137  T 08/06/16 at 139.37  T 08/06/16 at 152:21  Ex A, p 99  Ex A, p 100  T 15/06/16 at 439  Ex A, p 104  Ex A, pp 206 to 207  T 15/06/16 at 449.20  T 15/06/16 at 449.41  T 09/6/2016 at 202.47 and 249.30  T 09/06/16 at 254.38  T 16/06/16 at 524.21  T 16/06/16 at 529.37  Ex A, p 223 and 249  Ex A, p 240, clause 4.5  Ex A, p 250  Ex A, p 251  T 17/06/16 at 574.13 and 574.39  T 17/06/16 at 575.31  T 17/06/16 at 575.20  T 17/06/16 at 582  T 17/06/16 at 583.25  T 17/06/16 at 583.34  T 20/06/16 at 627.15  T 20/06/16 at 631 to 632  T 17/06/16 at 583  T 17/06/16 at 583.50  Ex A, pp 15 to 17  Ex A, p 10 at ; T 17/06/16 at 618.1  T 17/06/16 at 594.13  T 17/06/16 at 601.36  T 17/06/16 at 617.29  Ex A, p 9  T 17/06/16 at 552.16  T 17/06/16 at 599.28  T 16/06/16 at 533.30  T 17/06/16 at 616.33  T 16/06/16 at 533.31; T 16/06/16 at 536.21; T 17/06/16 at 616.35  Ex A, p 262  Ex A, p 265, clause 4.5  Ex A, p 261  Ex A, pp 268 and 274  Ex A, p 290  Ex A, p 295  T 08/06/16 at 129.40 and 168.27  T 21/06/2016 at 711.44  MFI 16  SU, p 19  SU, p 21  SU, pp 25 to 26; MFI 16  T 06/06/16 at 2  SU, pp 26 to 27  SU, p 41  T 21/06/16 at 719.10  T 20/06/16 at 651.5  Ex A, p 8 at   see SU, p 60  Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at  and   SU, p 62  SU, p 61  SU, p 61  MFI 16; SU, p 63  SU, p 64  SU, p 65  SU, pp 26 and 67  SU, p 72  SU, p 72  T 20/06/16 at 629.4  T 20/06/16 at 631 to 632  T 20/06/16 at 633.37 to 41  T 20/06/16 at 632 to 633  Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at   Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at   Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at   Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at  to   T 17/06/16 at 584.42  T 17/06/16 at 585.13  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at  Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW) and the Police Integrity Commission Act 1996.  Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 28  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 17 and 22  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 27 and 37  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 16  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 42  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 47  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 11, 18, 23, 39  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 11, 13 and 48  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 19  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 9  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 31, 49, 50 and 52  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 20 and 36  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 30, 35, 37, 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 51  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 8, 10 and 26  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 14  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 24, 33 and 29  Ex 2 on sentence, tabs 34 and 21  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 8  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 1 at   Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at [92ff]  Ex 1 on sentence  Ex 1 on sentence, pp 223 to 225, 511 and 609  Ex 1 on sentence, p 166  Ex 1 on sentence, p 134  Ex 1 on sentence, p 176  At   Ex A on sentence, tab 1, p 5; Ex 2 on sentence, tab 4  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 6  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 6  Ex A on sentence, tab 1, at 10; Ex 2, tab 5  Ex A on sentence, tab 1, p 10  Ex A on sentence, tab 7  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 3  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 6.10  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 17.2  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 18.1  Ex A on sentence, tab 1, pp 7 and 9  Ex A on sentence, tab 1, p 9.5  Ex A on sentence, tab 1, p 10.8  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 19.9  Ex A on sentence at tabs 2 to 6  Ex A on sentence at tab 6  Ex A on sentence at tab 4  Ex 2 at tab 2, p 19.6  Ex A at tab 2, p 12  T 01/12/2016 at 11.35  At   Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 18.10  Ex A on sentence, tab 2, p 12.5  Ex 2 on sentence, tab 2, p 19.1  Ex A on sentence, tab 2, p 13  Crown Submissions on Sentence at   Defence Outline of Submissions on Sentence at