The Court of Criminal Appeal has refused leave to hear the sentence appeal imposed on the Defendant in Yin v R  NSWCCA 217 for possessing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.
Originally Mr Yin was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 10 years. The offence involved the unlawful importation from Taiwan of 41kg of methamphetamine of which 33kg was pure methamphetamine. The sentencing judge found that the applicant committed his offence with 2 co-offenders, Mr Huang and Mr Lu. The co-offenders pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of methamphetamine & were each sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years, with a non-parole period of 6 years. The sentencing judge assessed the applicant’s role as “more responsible” than that of the co-offenders. From the evidence it appeared Mr Yin played a more senior role with some level of authority over the co-offenders in relation to obtaining possession of the drugs in Australia.
Mr Yin sought leave to appeal against his sentence on the following grounds:
1. whether the sentencing judge erred in her assessment of the comparative objective seriousness of the applicant’s offending and that of the 2 co-offenders.
The Court found that the sentencing judge did not err in concluding beyond reasonable doubt that the applicant played a more serious role in the offence than his co-offenders. The Court found that his offence was thus more serious.
2. whether the disparity between the sentence imposed on the applicant and the sentences imposed on the two co-offenders gives rise to a justifiable sense of grievance on the part of the applicant.
The Court found that the disparity did not give rise to a justifiable sense of grievance on the part of the applicant, as the disparity in the sentence was justified by the difference in the role played by the applicant and that of his co-offenders, and the acceptance that the subjective circumstances were similar.