Convicted child prostitution ring boss appeals sentence
AN Ipswich woman who was jailed for more than a decade after pleading guilty to running a child prostitution ring has appealed to the state's highest court for a reduced sentence.
Corrina Ann Crabb, 33, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court last year to 80 charges including child prostitution after she groomed five young girls, who were aged between 14 and 15 at the time, to engage in prostitution over a five-year period.
The court heard she used internet and telephone services as well as her own Facebook page to advertise the girls and to hire them out to clients.
Crabb was sentenced in January this year to 11 years behind bars.
The Queensland Court of Appeal heard on Thursday that the sentencing judge could had erred after applying the incorrect maximum sentence in regards to one of the charges.
Defence barrister Saul Holt said the mistake had an affect on the entire sentencing process.
"The sentencing judge actually gave a head sentence on one of the charges that was four years over the maximum available," he said.
"The sentencing discretion of this court must be exercised.
"If the court believes there was a jurisdictional error then we will not proceed with the second basis of the appeal being the sentence was manifestly excessive."
Mr Holt said the state's highest court had the power to fix a sentence instead of fully re-opening it.
He said Crabb's offending warranted a lengthy sentence, but in his submission not as long as she received.
"There was no coercion, violence, threats or pressure put on the children or their familles to participate in the sexual activity as was seen in the comparable case the sentencing judge used," he said.
"They were all troubled young women who came into contact with a troubled woman.
"This is why this is such a unique case because thankfully there are not too many comparable cases."
Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell conceded there was an error made in one of the offences, but said the judge imposed a global sentence of 11 years which took into account the overall seriousness of the offending.
He said that was evident in how the sentencing judge had structured her sentence.
"Given the facts of the case the Crown does not believe that 11 years is manifestly excessive," he said.
"Her honour certainly exercised her sentencing discretion in principle.
"We submit that the minor sentencing error in relation to one of the offences be fixed, but for the other offences the appeal should be refused."
Crabb will be eligible to apply for parole on July 25, 2015.
The Queensland Curt of Appeal reserved its decision.