By -

Key decisions

  • Huynh v R [2021] NSWCCA 148
  • Stoneham v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2021] NSWSC 735

Huynh v R [2021] NSWCCA 148

District Court appeals – mental health orders on appeal – non-conviction orders in Commonwealth matters

The Court of Criminal Appeal (‘CCA’) has held that, in appeals to the District Court, if the original sentence included a conviction and the appellant wants a mental health diversion, they need to lodge a conviction appeal, not just a sentence appeal – under both Commonwealth and State regimes. A conviction appeal is similarly necessary in Commonwealth matters where the original sentence involved a conviction, and on appeal the appellant wants a Commonwealth non-conviction sentence under section 19B of the Crimes Act 1914.

Ms Huynh was charged with Commonwealth offences relating to receiving a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity. She made an application under Commonwealth legislation which enables the Local Court, when dealing with a Commonwealth offence, to dismiss the charge and discharge the person if they have a mental illness or an intellectual disability (Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), s 20BQ). In this case, the Magistrate refused   the application. Ms Huynh then pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

She appealed her sentence, pursuant to Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 (NSW), s 11(1). In the District Court she reagitated her application to be diverted under s 20BQ. It seems she sought (in the alternative) to be dealt with under Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) s 19B – which is the Commonwealth equivalent of a s 10 dismissal without conviction. A question arose about whether the District Court had the power to apply either mental health diversion or a Commonwealth non-conviction sentence on an appeal against sentence only.

You've reached the end of this article preview

There's more to read! Subscribe to LSJ today to access the rest of our updates, articles and multimedia content.

Subscribe to LSJ

Already an LSJ subscriber or Law Society member? Sign in to read the rest of the article.

Sign in to read more