Council Releases Sentencing Snapshots for Seven Offences

9 April 2019

The Council has released new Sentencing Snapshots detailing sentencing trends in the five years to 30 June 2018 for seven offences sentenced in the Victorian higher courts (the Supreme and County Courts):

The latest Snapshots present data on the type and length of sentences imposed for the principal offence, the most serious offence in a case.

The Snapshots reveal sentencing patterns and trends over the five years, including variability in the use of sentence types across offences and over time.

Among the findings are:

  • 99% of the 132 people sentenced for murder received an immediate custodial sentence (imprisonment or another form of detention). The median (midpoint average) imprisonment term for murder was 22 years. The longest sentence imposed for murder was life imprisonment.
  • 99% of the 69 people sentenced for manslaughter received an immediate custodial sentence. The median imprisonment term was 8 years, and the longest sentence imposed was 12 years.
  • 97% of the 59 people sentenced for culpable driving causing death received an immediate custodial sentence. The median imprisonment term was 6 years, while the longest sentence imposed was 11 years. The average imprisonment term also rose over time, from 5 years and 11 months in 2013–14 to 7 years and 8 months in 2017–18.
  • 75% of the 124 people sentenced for arson received an immediate custodial sentence. The median imprisonment term was 2 years, while the longest sentence imposed was 7 years and 9 months.
  • 74% of the 156 people sentenced for theft received an immediate custodial sentence. The median imprisonment term was 1 year and 6 months, while the longest sentence imposed was 4 years.

In addition, people were more likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence for obtaining property by deception (66% of the 77 people sentenced) than for obtaining a financial advantage by deception (53% of the 187 people sentenced). However, imprisonment lengths were more severe for the latter offence. The median imprisonment term for obtaining property by deception was 1 year and 8 months, and the longest sentence imposed was 4 years. The median imprisonment term for obtaining a financial advantage by deception was 2 years and 6 months, and the longest sentence imposed was 7 years.