Running to Overseas to Avoid Conviction

Mr X was summoned to court to appear on a drug trafficking or sexual assault charge. He decided to go overseas. He spent there for 14 years to avoid conviction and then decided to comeback to Australia to face those charges. He lived a very honest life being in good character without any further crime committed by him. Would court consider that he has been in good character for last 14 years and not punish him or be lenient on punishing him?

In R v Alt [2013] QCA 343, this issue was considered. His honour stated, 

It is well established that where delay has been caused by the offender, whether by way of absconding, or simply ignoring the pending proceedings, any consequent rehabilitation is discounted. Thus an offender cannot claim the full benefit of rehabilitation where the freedom used in order to achieve it is freedom that has flowed from the offender’s absconding, or has otherwise been caused by the offender’s own conduct.

[R v Thompson (1987) 37 A Crim R 97, adopted in Shore (1992) 66 A Crim R 37 at 45-46; R v Kukunoski (unreported, New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal, 17 August 1989) where the delay was caused by the applicant’s election to plead not guilty]

So, what it means is that,  the court most likely will disregard that you have been in good character since your committed the crime if you have any contribution to cause of the delayed proceeding. Proceeding could not start because you decided to run away will not help you to avoid punishment. 


I am not an admitted lawyer. These contents are simply what I have learned during my work experience duty and through study. Please DO NOT consider any of my content as advice.  

*It is Recommendation Only based on my experience! No reward Received for referral.