R v Henman [2018] NZDC 3336

Published 13 December 2018

Sentencing — supplying methamphetamine — Conspiracy to supply methamphetamine — change of facts since sentencing indication. The defendant appeared for sentencing in relation to two charges, supplying methamphetamine and conspiracy to supply methamphetamine. The facts were not in dispute. In relation to the supplying charge, the defendant had supplied 79.6 grams of methamphetamine to a group of offenders, who were subsequently caught in a police stop, having thrown out the car window the bag containing the methamphetamine and $17,000. On the conspiracy charge, the defendant was charged in relation to unsuccessful attempts to supply methamphetamine to one of the same offenders for retail distribution in Gisborne. A sentencing indication with a starting point of three and a half years' imprisonment was previously provided. However it subsequently came to light that the defendant was more involved in the supplying, acting as not only the intermediary but also as the actual purchaser of the 79.6 grams. The Crown argued that this was a further aggravating factor which should increase the defendant's sentence, while the defendant argued that the sentencing indication was already stern and no change was required. The Judge did view this fact as an aggravating feature and did not accept that the sentencing indication was too stern, increasing the starting point to 45 months. The Judge then considered the mitigating factors, which included a two month reduction for genuine remorse and six months for the defendant's guilty plea, leading to a sentence of three years, one month imprisonment. Judgment Date: 22 February 2018.