Recent Cases

The Queen v Guode [2020] HCA 8 (18 March 2020) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Nettle, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Criminal law – Sentence – Irrelevant consideration – Where respondent pleaded guilty to murder contrary to common law and to infanticide and attempted murder contrary to ss 6(1) and 321M of Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) respectively – Where primary judge sentenced respondent to 26 years and six months’ imprisonment with non-parole period of 20 years – Where Court of Appeal allowed appeal against sentence and re-sentenced respondent to 18 years’ imprisonment with non-parole period of 14 years – Where respondent’s mental condition at time of offending called for application of principles stated in R v Verdins (2007) 16 VR 269 – Where element of offence of infanticide included disturbance of balance of mind – Where infanticide carried significantly shorter maximum penalty than offences of murder and attempted murder – Whether Court of Appeal erred by evaluating appropriateness of sentences imposed for murder and attempted murder in light of lesser maximum penalty for offence of infanticide.

Words and phrases – “acceptance of a plea”, “attempted murder”, “disturbance of mind”, “impaired mental functioning”, “infanticide”, “irrelevant consideration”, “manifestly excessive”, “mental condition”, “mitigating factors”, “moral culpability”, “murder”, “sentencing”, “sentencing considerations”, “specific error”, “Verdins considerations”.