On 1 March 2018, Mr Raban Alou was sentenced by the Supreme Court of NSW in Parramatta to 44 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 33 years, for abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of a terrorist act. Mr Alou sourced and supplied the handgun which was used to shoot dead NSW Police accountant Mr Curtis Cheng as he left Parramatta Police Headquarters in 2015.
The unlawful killing of Mr Cheng was an act of terrorism. The prosecution of Mr Alou was the first time a Criminal Code offence linked to a completed act of terrorism had come before a sentencing court in Australia.
On 2 October 2015, the then 20-year-old Mr Alou met the 15-year-old Mr Farhad Mohammad at the Parramatta Mosque. During the course of the day, the two men spent close to three hours together before they both entered the female-only prayer hall within the Mosque where Mr Alou handed Mr Mohammad a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver. Shortly thereafter Mr Mohammad walked the short distance to Parramatta Police Headquarters where he used the handgun to shoot Mr Cheng before he was himself shot dead by two special constables from NSW Police.
The police investigation of Mr Alou took place as part of Operation Peqin-Fellows. As a result of this investigation, a number of other person were also charged with various Commonwealth terrorism offences and NSW firearm offences.
On 1 March 2018, Mr Alou was sentenced to 44 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 33 years, in relation to:
- One count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of a terrorist act by Farhad Mohammad contrary to section 101.1 with section 11.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
Mr Alou will not be eligible for parole until 2048.
For the purpose of section 105A.23 of the Criminal Code (Cth), the Court warned Mr Alou that an application may be made for a continuing detention order requiring him to be detained in a prison after the end of his sentence for the offence.
In passing sentence, Justice Johnson said that Mr Alou was an active planner and participant in the offence and that “the Offender’s involvement placed him next to the killer himself, both temporally and in his acts which assisted the crime. Unless the Offender had obtained the firearm and provided it to Farhad Mohammad, this crime could not have been committed”.
Justice Johnson said Mr Alou had shown no contrition or remorse throughout the entire proceedings, and that his prospects of rehabilitation and de-radicalisation were grim. He said his behaviour “contrasted with strength, courage, humanity, decency and dignity of the Chen family in their response to this random act of homicidal violence which has struck their family.”
Read the full judgment on this matter.
An appeal against sentence was heard 19 June 2019. Judgment is reserved.