4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Higher Courts >> Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants - New South Wales - Higher Courts


ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER DEFENDANTS

New South Wales

In 2011-12, 421 defendants (12%) in the Higher Courts in New South Wales identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status, New South Wales

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



The proportion of males and females was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants and non-Indigenous defendants: 10% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants were female compared with 8% of non-Indigenous defendants.

The age profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants differed from non-Indigenous defendants. Those aged under 30 years accounted for more than half (65%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants compared with 48% of non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status(b) by age, New South Wales

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



There was some variation when comparing offences categories. The three main offences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants adjudicated in New South Wales were: unlawful entry with intent (27%), robbery and extortion (24%) and acts intended to cause injury (21%). For non-Indigenous defendants, the three main offences were: illicit drug offences (28%), robbery and extortion (17%) and acts intended to cause injury (16%).

In 2011-12, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty receiving custodial sentences was the same - 92%. By age, there was difference in the younger age groups, with a larger proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged under 25 years receiving custodial sentences compared with non-Indigenous defendants.

Graph Image for DEFENDANTS PROVEN GUILTY(a), Higher Courts, Indigenous Status(b), Custodial orders by age, New South Wales

Footnote(s): (a) Excludes ANZSOC Division 14 and Subdivision 041 (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 50-51) and organisations. (b) Excludes defendants with an Indigenous Status of not stated.

Source(s): Criminal Courts, Australia



For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants proven guilty and sentenced to a non-custodial order, 20 to 24 year olds represented almost one-third (31%), followed by defendants aged under 20 (19%). There was little variation for non-Indigenous defendants proven guilty, with 20 to 24 year olds accounting for 27% of defendants sentenced to a non-custodial order, followed by 25 to 29 years olds (18%).

The age group that least commonly received a non-custodial order varied between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants:
  • there were no Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants aged 40 to 44 and 50 years and over who were sentenced to a non-custodial order
  • 4% of non-Indigenous defendants aged 50 to 54 years were sentenced to non-custodial orders.

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