NEW SOUTH WALES
During 2017–18, the number of defendants finalised in the New South Wales criminal courts increased by 2% (3,858) to 160,510 defendants. They comprised just over a quarter (27%) of all defendants finalised nationally, the highest proportion of all states and territories. (Tables 2 and 16)
The rate of defendants finalised during 2017–18 was-2,290 per 100,000 persons (aged 10 years and over) which remained stable from the previous year. (Table 49)
The median age of defendants was 33 years. Over three-quarters (78%) of all defendants were male. (Table 2)
DEFENDANTS FINALISED, New South Wales, 2010–11 to 2017–18
Australian Bureau of Statistics
© Commonwealth of Australia 2019.
During 2017–18, the majority (93%, 149,842) of defendants were finalised in the Magistrates' Courts.
From the previous year, the number of defendants finalised in each court level increased by:
- 3% (122) in the Higher Courts
- 2% (3,607) in the Magistrates’ Courts
- 2% (132) in the Children’s Courts. (Table 16)
During 2017–18, seven out of ten defendants had a principal offence of:
- Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences (40%, 64,038)
- Acts intended to cause injury (19%, 30,119)
- Illicit drug offences (11%, 17,048).
Between 2016–17 and 2017–18, the most notable increases occurred for:
- Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences (8%, 4,492)
- Robbery/extortion (7%, 82).
Over the same period, the number of defendants finalised for Unlawful entry with intent decreased by 8% (242). (Table 16)
METHOD OF FINALISATION
PRINCIPAL SENTENCE AND SENTENCE LENGTH
- 91% (146,782) of defendants had their matter(s) adjudicated, most of whom (140,005) were proven guilty.
- 5% (8,402) of defendants had their matter(s) withdrawn by the prosecution. (Table 16)
Of the 140,005 defendants proven guilty during 2017–18:
- 14% (20,203) received a custodial sentence (a decrease of 3% from 2016–17), including custody in a correctional institution (9%, 12,708) and fully suspended sentence (4%, 5,431). (Tables 8 and 16)
- The median sentence length for custody in a correction institution1 was 12 months. (Table 58d)
During 2017–18, the number of defendants who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander2
increased by 4% (617) to 14,966 defendants, comprising 16% of all defendants finalised
in New South Wales. (Table 12)
The most common offence among both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants was Acts intended to cause injury (40% or 6,041 and 34% or 22,219, respectively).
Just over a quarter (27%, 3,269) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants who were proven guilty were sentenced to custody in a correctional institution. (Table 13)
Excluding life and indeterminate imprisonment (see Explanatory Note 48).
Excludes defendants with a principal offence of Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences (ANZSOC Division 14) or Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle (ANZSOC Subdivision 041). See Explanatory Note 56.